Hey everyone! dr.evil99 and Kayasuri-n came up with an idea where multiple authors try to write a one-shot based on some flexible guidelines to see the differences in the results. Since the idea was suggested, my muse took it to heart and now she will let me do little else until I give it a try.
So here it is, my attempt at The League of Hopeless Romantics' first (and hopefully not last) one-shot challenge.
Disclaimer: By now everyone should know that I don't own the Teen Titans; any characters contained herein belong to their respective owners with whom I have no affiliation.
"Beast Boy, what's your status?" Came Robin's static cracked voice.
"I'm inside the bank behind one of the tills. Johnny Rancid is here and his latest windup toy stopped working." He quickly glanced around the edge of the counter. "We may have a problem though; I count at least eleven people including the security guard who's out cold. Johnny's got a pretty big hand gun and he's starting to freak out, the four cruisers outside and the guy with the loudspeaker really aren't helping matters."
"We'll be there in three minutes, has he spotted you?"
He chanced a second look around the counter before yanking his head back. A bullet ripped away a large piece of the fake wood laminate and the particleboard beneath.
"Uh, I think that's a yes!"
"Come out where I can see you! No animal stuff or this nice lady will have a new .50 caliber hole in her." He shouted, shaking one of the tellers.
Beast Boy slowly stood up from where he had be concealed and held his hands above his head.
"Drop that thing!"
"Rob, we have a hostage situation now. I have to turn this thing off so be careful when you get here." He finished, dropping the communicator to the hard floor. "Listen, you don't want to do that. Put the gun down before you do something you're going to regret."
"Shut up! I was supposed to be in and out with the cash but this damn thing broke down." He yelled, firing a few rounds at his giant metal wolf.
The woman he was restraining with his other arm had started to cry and it seemed to anger him more.
"I said shut up! You were the one to pull the silent alarm, this is your fault."
Beast Boy looked around the large room, the acrid stench of fear made the air thick; the people were terrified. How long were the others going to take? Robin said they would be three minutes but it felt like hours had already passed.
Johnny was waving the gun in the tellers face and it only caused her to cry all the louder.
"BE QUIET! I'm not going to go back to prison because of you!" He jammed the barrel into her cheek.
A thousand different animals ran through the green Titan's head. He thought of every possible form he could change into that would result with no casualties. He could try changing into something big to intimidate him, this also gave him a chance to possibly survive if he was shot, but he still had a hostage in his arms. He could become something small and fast and get the gun from him, but he could hurt the woman the second he changed.
"Lets all calm down man, we can try to work something out. If you let these people go, the police will back off." He said, in a level tone.
The large man stopped for a moment, as if he were actually thinking the proposal over, before violently shaking his head. "No way, these people are my only ticket out of here. I'm not going to be fooled into giving away my only bargaining chip."
"Think about it, have you ever seen a movie where a hostage taker actually gets what he wants? We can still fix this right now, but if you take it any further, you're going to be coming out of here in a body bag."
Beast Boy held back a smile at the expression on his face. It seemed like that was enough to defuse the situation and he was a little surprised. Robin would have probably reprimanded him for actually saying something like 'body bag' to a room full of terrified civilians, but at least it worked.
The somewhat scared look on Johnny's face turned dead calm. "Then I guess I have nothing to loose."
He took a calculating look around the room and turned back to Beast Boy.
"Who should be first? The teller who hit the alarm, or the security guard over there? But then of course, you'd try to stop me. So do I shoot you first so you cant?"
"Wow man, we can still talk this thing out." He pleaded.
Johnny smiled a demented smile.
"I think it's going to be the teller."
Beast Boy didn't know what to do. Someone was going to be killed and it looked like it was going to be the woman in his arms. She was screaming incoherently now and she looked strait at him, eyes desperate, pleading. He wasn't about to just let someone die today.
He kicked off the wall his back had been against at the opposite side of the room in an attempt to cover the seemingly expanding distance. Every animal form that could have made the attempt any easier had vanished from his mind, so he just ran. Johnny was quick to turn the gun on him and a deafening crack reverberated off the walls. He felt something in his side but ignored it. Maybe he had just clipped him; the pain was minimal, probably because of the adrenaline.
That deadly calm had left Johnny's face now, the fear had set in again and he squeezed off another shot. Beast Boy felt the shot this time but it wasn't like anything he'd expected it would be. All those stupid action movies talking about the sting of hot lead. There was no sharp sting at all, it felt like someone had hit him in the chest with a sledgehammer and he had actually been knocked to the ground by the impact.
He was in a state of shock at first, and all that really came to mind was how hard that bullet must have hit him to knock him on his back. Why was he thinking of something so trivial? He botched his rescue attempt, now people were going to die. Was he dying?
He chuckled a little at the thought. Of course he was dying, he'd played enough videogames to know that if you took a .50 caliber round to the chest, you were dead. It seemed funny to him for some reason, hoards of Slade bots, giant monstrosities like Plasmus or Cinderblock, even nut jobs like Mad Mod couldn't kill the Titans, but some guy with something as simple as a gun could.
If he thought that time was passing slowly when he was waiting for the others before, then it had practically stopped now. Where were the others? Had three minutes really not passed yet? He lifted his head a bit to see that the woman was no longer in Johnny's grasp; she was on the floor and was moving away. He was turning the gun in her direction but with the way time was moving, it seemed like he was almost at a stand still.
So what now? Just lie down and die? If the others weren't here yet, maybe he could try and stall for time. What rule said you had to stay down when you were shot?
He took in a deep breath and tried to sit up. His actions were not just incredibly slow but they were incredibly painful. He felt a gurgle in his throat and tasted blood. His attempt to rise failed and he could do nothing more than lie there on his back and watch this 'villain' kill people he failed to protect.
He did watch, and he saw something he hadn't before. Flying through the air was one of Robin's discs, a smoke disc if Beast Boy saw correctly. It soared gracefully toward an oblivious Johnny and exploded into a thick white cloud. Everything that was moving in slow motion seemed to speed back up to normal and fast and loud sounds filled his ears.
In his surprise, Johnny fired a shot that made a distinct ricocheting sound off of one of Raven's force fields. His last shot was followed up with a blast from Cyborg's sonic cannon. Then there was nothing but silence and smoke, well just about silence except for that heavy breathing. Was the teller really that worked up?
That wasn't the teller, that was him! He was making that wheezing sound.
They were close, so close. Robin had been on the line with one of the officers since Beast Boy had been forced to drop his communicator and managed to get them to stop giving Johnny Rancid ultimatums. They were less than a minute away now, weaving in and out of traffic. Raven could see the police cars out in front of the bank.
"There have been more shots fired! Beast Boy is down!"
Raven's heart stopped. Was he dead? Did he stop Johnny? She hadn't even noticed the car stopped and she barely heard Robin shout his usual battle cry, but she was moving into her planned position all the same. Her body was on autopilot and she wasted no time phasing through the bank's sidewall to shield everyone the moment the disc went off. Cyborg shot the confused and blinded hostage taker with relative ease, thanks to his multiple scan settings on his robotic eye.
There was no 'Booya' this time though, they needed to find Beast Boy.
The smoke cleared and there he was, lying in a pool of blood, and apparently struggling to breathe.
"Oh man…" Came Cyborg's quiet voice.
Starfire just stood next to Robin, silent tears streaming down her face.
"Raven! Can you heal him?" Robin asked urgently.
Whatever stupor she was in quickly dissolved and she rushed next to the downed Titan's side. Frothy red bubbled were coming out a sizable hole in the mid right portion of his chest, his lung had been punctured. She slid her had under his back and felt a similar hole where air was passing in and out.
"The bullet went clean through his right lung, it also broke a rib. It looks like a grazing shot here that hit an artery." White light was already radiating from both of her hands. "I don't know if I can heal it all but he's going to need a lot of blood."
"Hey Rae. Did you get him?" Came Beast Boy's gurgled greeting, a small stream of blood trickling out the side of his mouth.
A bittersweet smile formed on Raven's lips.
"Yes, we got him. You need to be quiet though, just think about breathing." She said gently.
He swallowed some of the blood in his mouth and smiled. "You're really pretty, you know that?"
He closed his eyes and he was quiet. Robin monitored his pulse and breathing while Raven continued to heal him.
"We can't wait any longer, I've patched the lung, rib, and all blood vessels, but he needs blood now or he's going to die."
"Can you get him all the way back to the tower?" Cyborg asked critically.
"I-I've never jumped that far… But I'll get him there."
She leaned down on the changeling, already covered in his blood, and sank through the floor.
Beast Boy groaned. The coppery aftertaste of blood was in the back of his throat and he felt cold. On top of that, he felt like a piece of rebar had been driven through his chest prior to being run over by the T-Car.
He opened his eyes and was met with Cyborg's large frame looming over him.
"Well how're you feeling green bean?"
"Better than you look." He mumbled.
He chuckled. "Good to hear, but you're going to have to stay here for a while. We had you on blood for the better part of the day to replace all you had lost. You're going to be feeling woozy for a few days but it should clear up."
"Uh, what happened? It's all kind of a blur…"
"You got shot. We saw from the tape on one of the cruisers dash-cams, the first shot just nicked you, but the second shot went in one side of you and out the other. You almost died…"
Beast Boy's hand moved to his chest and he felt the sore spot, the spot where the new tissue had generated. Not that it was as sore as it would be if he still had a bullet hole in him, but he always felt a little sore after Raven healed him. He could feel a slight indentation in the skin, there would be a scar.
Cyborg nodded to his right, where Raven was lying back in a chair next to his bed.
"She had to get you back here from the bank quickly, after she put you on blood, she finished healing you. We found her asleep when we got back."
"Dude, I am not standing in line to get shot again any time soon."
"You'd better not be, Star is still freaking out, Rob's trying to calm her down. If it makes you feel any better, I think we each put a good kick into Johnny while he was out."
"A little bit." He smiled. "I'm kind of hungry, do you think you could grab something for me?"
"Sure thing, I'll tell Rob and Star you're up too, be back in ten."
He walked out and the door slid shut with a sharp 'click'.
He looked around himself; hanging up to his IV was an empty bag of blood, and a slowly draining bag of clear fluid. The only place for him to go was the tower unfortunately, since no hospital in the world actually carried his blood type. It was the real universal blood type in the fact that the cells changed into whatever blood cells surrounded them as well as produced the proteins present. Starfire had once needed blood and due to her alien physiology, he had been the only possible donor. The only problem was that no one else had a compatible blood that his body would accept.
Next to him was Raven. The front of her leotard, legs, and arms, were covered in dried blood. He looked to her face and was surprised to see her two violet eyes looking back at him. He didn't say anything and neither did she; they just sat there in silence.
She broke the silence first by standing, and he caught a glint in her eye, something that told him she was pissed. She covered the short distance between them in a couple steps and he closed his eyes, just waiting to be smack or berated for putting an emotional strain on the team and a physical strain on her.
Instead of being struck, he felt something from Raven he never though he would feel again. She was hugging him.
"Don't ever do something like that again!" She said in a tone that was quite unlike her.
"I-… Uh…" He stuttered.
"I thought you were going to die. It… It scared me."
Beast Boy was taken aback by this vulnerable side of Raven, it was something he'd never seen before. He took in a deep breath and wrapped his arms around her, careful of his IV.
"I was kind of scared too. I was a little confused at first but I was scared when I realized I was dying." Raven's breath hitched at the word but she didn't move. "I'm ok though, you saved me."
"But what happens if I can't next time? What happens if you do die?"
"Then I die." He took in another breath. "But you shouldn't worry about that, none of us should."
She looked up at him with concern and uncertainty and all he could do was smile.
"I was right you know, you are really pretty."
So what do you guys think? If you're interested to see what the other authors wrote, look for anything new by CalliopeMused, dr.evil99, Kayasuri-n, and Lambbaby.
The very loose setting was basically just a situation in which Beast Boy was injured severely enough to require Raven to heal it.
The description of what it felt like to be shot was something I heard when I was younger. Our next-door neighbor (who's son was a friend of mine) was an ex-RCMP officer, who was forced to retire because he had been shot in the lung while on duty. He'd been shot with a hunting rifle and the standard bulletproof vest is not designed to protect against anything much larger than a handgun.
The thing he said he remembered most was how it felt like someone hit him with a sledgehammer and how surprised he was that he had actually been knocked to the ground. He had been able to shoot the man responsible after being shot and was only able to do so because of his training. The man who shot him had assumed he was dead as soon as he hit the ground, but it's a common misconception we get from Hollywood. A person, even if shot fatally in the heart, will be able to return fire on an officer for about 15 seconds if they are not in the I've-been-shot-so-now-I-fall-down frame of mind.
Well, if anything, you're learned an interesting fact that will make all action movies seem stupid now.
I consumed about a Litre of Coca Cola throughout this story.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
January 28th, 2006
P.S. Sorry for the lame title, nothing else came to me...