Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans. Murakami would have a field day on my CD collection.
Author's Note: I had such ideas in my head for a while, particularly once I heard Argent would be converted for the fifth season. As Noriaki Kakyoin once noted about Jinx, "that she has more personality in her pinky than everyone else in the whole series," I more or less feel the same for Argent. And Calling All Titans' ending gave me an obvious opportunity to play on her and a possibility for something else as well.
This isn't my official Valentine's Day project but since I got this done earlier than expected, I figured to debut it on the day anyway and give you all something to snack on and deepen my now apparent Titans-Valentine's Day tradition.
Beta: H.Moth and her arsenal of hobos.
Timeline: Right after in "Calling All Titans".
"The pieces are falling one by one, and, now that I have captured the king, we can commence with phase two." The Brain schemed in his artificial voice, staring at his ominous worldwide map after Robin was brought before him by Madame Rouge as part of his endgame with the Communicator.
"You don't think you can win, do you?" The Teen Wonder spat out as he tried to struggle against his bonds. He noticed the fallen Titans he saw when he first arrived being carried off by the Brotherhood of Evil's androids to some dark, indistinct corridor.
"I don't think quoting a Tim Burton movie of your former mentor is going to help you, little boy." Rouge sneered on in her pompous French accent.
"Lock him up for the moment in the tube chamber with the ones we caught, so he can observe the frailty of his compatriots. The others have not yet returned with their captures, and I'm sure they'll want to have a front row seat to the demise of the leader of the group that has thwarted them so." The Brain commanded.
"Wait, I thought I was to have first crack at him." Rouge raised an eyebrow.
"Yes but our pawns have worked so hard for our final goal, it best to placate them, and besides—you can always have what's left of him after." The Brain hovered away.
"Fair enough." She hoisted Robin up and sneered. "For now."
"Believe me; I'm not happy with the arraignment either." He returned the sneer.
"Don't worry; I have special plans for you." She dragged him off to where the robots transported off the defeated Titans. Prisoner cells underneath the base, a cadre of plastic tubing.
"In you go with another has-been." She shoved him into a tube next to the gothic dressed girl he saw unconscious when he was first brought before the Brain. She was called Argent. Starfire tried to assist her when she was ambushed by Kitten.
He wanted to drift his mind to the alien but he knew better as Rouge was still staring at him like the cat before a canary.
"I'd watch who I'd call a has-been if I were you, Rouge."
"Insolent child, you'd be more attractive if you kept your mind shut." She sealed the tube.
"Attractive? Don't get ideas."
"Children, always with their minds in the gutter." She ranted off as she walked away. He surveyed his surroundings.
'Aqualad, Menos, and Speedy unconscious. Great. And her? I don't know much of her beyond making plasma constructs and have them tangible.' He sighed. 'What a way to go. After becoming Slade's errand boy, my team done in by a blonde who lived in a cave, a cult leader trying to consume my best friend and my other friend responsible for the end of the world, I get my ass kicked by a disembodied brain looking like a refuge from Dr. Who. How humiliating.'
He struggled against the bonds. 'Can't wiggle out of this, and this tube is so smooth, nothing to rub against. But there must be a way out, I can't give up.' He rammed himself against the tube to no avail.
'Damn it, damn it.' He kept ramming the tube, Argent slowly stirred from her slumber.
"Someone cut out that noise? My head's already killing me." She murmured.
"Argent! Wake up! Argent!" He cried out.
"Alright, alright, whoever is making that noise, stop that, you're making enough sound to wake the bloody dead. I heard you." She slowly woke up.
"Sorry. Just…you might be our only hope in getting out of here."
She sat up and surmised the tube. "I am? Where am I and who are you? Wait, I recognize you, you're the guy I talked to on that compact before that old fart got the drop on me. Where is he? I've got a score to settle." Her anger spiked.
"My name is Robin; I am the leader of the Teen Titans. And I don't know where we are."
"You're the leader of the Titans huh? I was expecting someone more…muscular like Superman or the guy you used to hang around with." The punk Goth smirked.
"Don't worry, if next time you're in trouble, I'll forward your call." 'Great, she has a mouth on her. It's old hat after all the barbs Raven has spat in my face.' He rammed against the plastic again.
"You did that how many times?" She folded her arms.
"I don't know, 10?"
"If 10 didn't do it, what's 11 going to prove?"
"Yeah, at least you got a power; can you find a way to break this?"
Argent cracked her knuckles. "I can try." She willed her a fist style projectile and launched it against the tube. The energized fist bounced off the plastic and ricocheted like a pinball.
"Yeow! Well, this was a stupid idea!"
Robin sighed as Argent finally caught it and put it down. "That's enough out of you. And you too." She glared at the Teen Wonder.
"What fun would it be if I didn't blame someone? Now what do we do?"
He sucked in a breath. "I don't know, I'd say keep striking at the plastic."
"Again? I don't know…"
"We don't exactly have a lot of options. We have to test this plastic, at least systematically for a weakness." He then rammed another section of the tube.
"Aren't you anal retentive."
"When you're a leader of a pack of superheroes you have to go over every detail, every minute trace. I'm in these situations often enough."
"Really?" She sighed. "I guess I can look above." She hovered to the top of the tube.
"I didn't know you could fly."
"I don't; it's a new power I just had recently, hormones, what can you do?" The punk Goth felt around at the seams of the tubing.
"I keep forgetting some of us are teenagers." He now kicked the tube instead.
"I don't. That's how I got these powers, of sorts anyway. And at least one thing I can say for you, you got a good eye for footwear." She complimented him as she gave the Teen Wonder the once-over.
"I do? No one compliments me for that."
"Well, that's a shame. It's the only other good thing I see."
"What's the other?"
"Your mask. Very Phantom of the Opera. It certainly accentuates your features." She threw him an almost flirty look.
"Really?" He ignored her look and kicked again in another spot.
"That's the only thing that looks good on you. You look like a human traffic light."
"You're not the first person who's said that. And on that note, since we're talking fashion, I do notice yours. A rather timely piece, I would say." He kept kicking at random spots.
"Timely? I think I'm classic." She curled her nose and folded her arms again.
"Well, a corset is unique apparel for everyday wear but I think you're just playing on the current Goth girl trend from what I see. Although the tattoo on your chest is a curiosity, why that?"
She arched an eyebrow. "I'm impressed you didn't say "is that in case you forget your name?". I've heard my share of that."
He gazed at it before ramming himself against a section. "Well, now that you mentioned it…"
"It was supposed to be "Anarchy" but I chickened out and had no money to fix it."
"Sure it was." He rolled his eyes again and stopped his motions.
"Oh shut up." She glared at him.
"But to get back to the point, I see the Goth look on the field now and then, my teammate did it, briefly and so does a villain I fight now and then."
She dropped her glare. "Oh yeah? What's the look or looks?"
"Well, my teammate, Raven, wears a black leotard and blue cloak and boots. You looked up there, try below on the floor."
"A leotard? Doesn't instill much dread does it?" She had a quizzical look as she hovered down.
"She has psychic powers and the cloak to help with that."
"Okay, I guess that's acceptable. The other?" She knelt down and felt around on the floor.
"The villain?" She said impatiently.
"Oh, a student of the H.I.V.E. named Jinx; she wears a short blue/black dress, stripped stockings, and platformers."
"Stripped stockers and platformers? That's so two years ago." Argent said in a snooty voice.
"Well, I can't argue with you there."
"Yeah, well I happened to have made this look a good 5 years before that stupid company Hot Topic something something mainstreamed my look." She noted with a modicum of pride.
"Oh right, that must be it." He rolled his eyes, not that she could tell.
"I wouldn't be tossing insults on looks, you eyesore!" She stood up.
"Mine happens to be iconic, thank you." He playfully kicked at her image.
"Iconic to whom? You look like you belong in an ambiguous gay duo."
"Said the girl who looks a refugee from a vampire movie."
"Hey! Don't lump me with those poseurs. I could tell you so many flaws in the vampire mythos; your hair would curl up and straighten." Her anger again spiked.
"Okay, okay. We're not getting anywhere like this." Robin said, with a tired sound to his voice.
"Yeah, and you sound and look tired. I guess we take a break?" She began to sit down.
"Might as well, need to conserve some energy." He propped himself against the plastic and sat down as well.
"Great. You know, just a few hours ago, I was loose and fancy-free. And then that kumquat girl entered my life and gave me that device and boom, I got attacked. I was better not being found. At least I would have saved the dam I was rebuilding."
He tried not to seethe. "I'm…sorry."
"Sorry? For what?" She stared at him again.
"For getting you in danger, turns out that…they got one of the Communicators and hacked into it, one that I gave them."
"So because I use the Communicator, they were able to zero in on me?"
"Yeah." He was ready for the worst. The Punk Goth waited a moment before speaking.
"I could insult you, I could yell at you, but A) I'm hoping you didn't know that they had one of these doohickeys as you seem like a decent guy. B) I don't want to waste the energy and C)…I'll yell when we're out of here and away from these wankers."
"No. I didn't know." He started to sulk.
"Oh, don't get all serious and broody on me. I don't need a glass of instant depression right now."
"Because I am in a tube?"
"Not really, I was going for a play on an obscure reference but if you want to think the obvious, go for it."
"So how shall we pass the time?" He lightened up after that.
"I don't know, but I hope it isn't charades." She sighed and looked at him.
"At least we have air, guess we can talk?"
"Sure. Good thing that we're separated or I'd make out with you to pass the time." She gave him a guttural look as she spoke in a smirk.
"R—Really?" He suddenly turned white as her.
She gave a snicker. "No, don't you know a joke when you hear it? Besides, people don't go in and just make out, this isn't Degrassi. Or to take it another step further and make a Cinemax joke. For someone who dresses in light colors, you seem to take yourself so seriously."
"Another line I never seem to stop hearing." He said in self deprecation.
"Then lighten up?" She commented, nonchalant.
"That's not easy."
"I…wasn't raised like that."
"Funny, after all that hanging around with the Joker, I'd think you'd know a good joke when you see one." She quipped.
"Do you know anything about the Joker?" Robin started to sound defensive.
"I know he loves anything with a smile but yeah, I do. Relax, it's not like I like the guy, I know what a psychopath he is." She tried to ease the mood.
"As long as we're clear."
She waved her hand dismissively. "Fine, don't get your tights in a bunch. So now what do we talk about?"
"Aren't you a gentleman? Alright, talk about the obvious, I guess. So what is it like being a Teen Titan? I've heard of your group but nothing much until that kumquat girl approached me." She altered her tone again.
He almost glared at her. "Her name is Starfire. And we're just…I'm not sure how to put it. I guess if I want to give a maudlin attachment, I could say sometimes we're a team, sometimes we're fighters, but lately we've been…family." He suddenly recalled his time with Trigon and the end of the world and how bonded the Titans were to each other.
"Really? That must be…nice." She was almost taken aback.
"Took forever to get to that point though, a lot of hard work."
Argent took forever to speak. "How long have you been together?" She hugged her knees.
"Almost 4 years, I think." He was surprised by her change of tone.
"Wow. I met the kum—Starfire, who is the rest of your team?"
"Our other female member is Raven. She's…kind of like you, just more of a pragmatist. Gothic enough, although she dropped the act some time ago. And the other two are guys, one is Cyborg, who is just as his name suggests, a cyborg, great guy but anger issues, and the other is Beast Boy, a changeling who can transform into any kind of animal. He's the funnyman of the group."
"Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous." She jested.
"That's how I describe it." He adopted Raven's world famous deadpan.
"And you're the leader? You got powers?"
"No, just my leadership, which is more of a skill, and my marital arts and my gadgets."
"I don't know, with those legs, you look like you'd have a jumping power. Look like frog legs." She teased.
"That's a bit harsh." He almost laughed himself.
"You got strong legs and wear green tights. What other conclusion should I draw?" Her grin became wider.
"Well, if we're going into physical, what about your eyes?" He returned the tease.
"What about them?"
"They look like puppy eyes or saucer eyes, they're so big." He could give it as good as he got it.
"My eyes are not big." She lightly dismissed the Teen Wonder.
"Oh please, they look like head beams."
"Oh yeah, what about your eyes? Those lenses look like quite larger than my eyes." She tried to peer through his mask.
"You'd be surprised." He dared her.
"I don't suppose you'd show me." She said with a flirt.
"Oh come on. You brought it up."
"That may be but I'm not going to take it off." He shook his head.
"Tease." She pouted.
"And what are you with the frog legs?" He started to chuckle.
"Pointing out the obvious." She cracked.
"I would comment on the hair but I am not in condition for it." Robin snorted.
"I can only imagine your hair gel bills every month." She rolled her crimson eyes.
"At least mine doesn't look like an explosion." He countered and glared at her hair.
She waved her hand in her hair. "At least mine has color."
"And a piercing. Don't usually see that normally, although it does compliment your eyes nicely."
"I was always ahead of my time with fashion." She said with confidence as she hid her ensuing blush.
"10 minutes, right?" He kidded.
"More or less, although I'm more 15, myself."
Robin sighed as he relaxed and nearly exploded in a paroxysm of laughter. "God, look at us. We're captured, soon to be put through God knows what and I'm…I don't know what the hell we're doing."
"I think the phrase is called "having fun"."
"Is that what it is?" He covered his joking tone.
"It was until you brought up the capture. You got all serious on me, we were having fun." She playfully moped.
"Okay, sorry. Just…I don't want to lose track here, despite the fact I'm actually enjoying this." He apologized.
"I know, I don't usually have fun like this either, the banter. When you're solo, you don't have much to play with or find people to play with for that matter." She relaxed and wondered wistfully.
"I'm sure. I don't usually interact like this with people I just met."
"Not a real people person huh?" She smirked.
"Not really, but I can be when I want to be. You?"
"Nah. That's as rare as my meeting masked male teens. So double my pleasure." She got up to stretch. "God, never realized how much talking takes a lot of work."
He tried not to stare at her taut body. "I'd say I don't meet many Goth girls but that would be a lie, although you're the first with an accent."
"I have to be unique somehow." She shrugged her shoulders.
"You weren't already with the silver skin? Which defeats my award winning question: "why are you called Argent?"" He couldn't stop the light tones coming from her or the conversation.
"Well, at least with Argent, I got a Wagner appeal to me if nothing else."
"Indeed." He nodded.
"So why are you called Robin? That seems so…bright for someone so…dark."
He sucked in a breath. "That's my secret."
"Why? Would the world end if you said it?"
"Well…" He heard metal rumbling in the background. "Did you hear that?"
"Don't change the subject." She said threateningly.
"No, no, wait, I heard something."
"Yeah, I do hear that." She turned her head to the direction of the sound.
'Whew.' "Maybe if we're unconscious, we can act."
"That's the oldest cliché in the book." She scoffed.
"Well, there is a reason why it's a cliché. Got no choice."
"Fine." Both rested against the tubing and closed their eyes. Two of the Brotherhood's automatons walked in the corridor towards Aqualad's tube and walked by a control panel and made an unlocking sound. A crane then materialized out of the shadows and interlocked with the tube and was hauled away. Robin heard the robots walk away and slowly opened up his eye.
"Wake up. Nothing happened." He opened his eyes and leaned again the plastic again.
"I didn't need you to figure that out. But I do admire your observation skills all the same." She joined him.
"It was worth a shot."
"You still didn't answer my question." She steered the conversation back to the original topic.
The punk Goth sighed. "Would the world end if you told me the origin of your name?"
'Damn, hoped she'd forget that.' "Well, I wouldn't put it quite like that, but my real name is a closely guarded secret. If I started to promulgate it, then it wouldn't be secret anymore now would it?" 'And I'm employing the logic of Red X, shoot me now.'
"I don't mean like that but just…I can't get a hypothetical?" She didn't want to beg.
"No. It…is rather personal."
"What? Batman gave you that name or something?" Argent hid herself into her quips again.
Robin sighed loudly and remained silent.
"Did he? He did, didn't he?"
He had taken another long pause to answer. "No. He didn't."
"Oh." She realized her faux pas. "I apologize, didn't mean to pry."
"Well, you do scream of a secret. I…don't care for secrets." Her tone shifted to serious.
"No, too many pretenses, liable to get burned. I am one for out in the open. Of course, I don't know a thing of you and you don't of me, that doesn't make for much trust does it?"
"No." An epiphany was dawning on him.
"Well, I guess I could go first. You seem to have a face to keep a secret and besides, we're going to die tonight? Aren't we?" Her tone shifted to suspense.
"Well, that's a shift."
"You seem so light hearted; you don't seem to take much too seriously." Robin observed.
"I can be serious. I can be serious as you." She stomped her foot down.
He almost laughed. "Considering how you chided me for my seriousness, I find that hard to believe."
"Well, I can." She harrumphed.
"Well, I don't have the energy to argue with you but to answer your question, I don't know. I won't lie to you but I don't know. It's quite possible. The Brotherhood of Evil certainly has the…testicular fortitude needed for such a job. But I'm confident that I'll find a way to get us out of this." He again surveyed the surroundings and the facts.
"I rather deduced that with the Brotherhood." She recollected her quip of the Brotherhood to Starfire. "You seem so…hopeful."
"I am. I've been in this type of situation many times before. I'll find a way." He said, confident.
"I wish I had what you have. I don't know. Right now…I personally think you're crazy for being so optimistic given all this." She sat back down and slouched against the tube.
"You're not the first to say that." He concealed his amusement.
"I'm sure." She sighed. "Alright. Well, been so long since I said this to another human being, but since I may shuffle myself off this mortal coil tonight, I'd like someone else to know about my story. Besides, given your bonds, it's apparent that these tossers like you more, so hopefully you'll get to live to appreciate it and promulgate, to take a cue from you and maybe tell the papers if you get out of this." She tried to joke.
"I doubt that, but one never knows." He responded, non-committal. She dropped the mask.
"Right. I am or was Toni Monetti."
"I recall a former New Jersey senator with that name, are you…"
"Yes, that's my dear old dad. One of the richest guys in the Eastern coast I think." She replied in an almost empty tone.
"Indeed, yet there is your accent because with a surname like that, you're not British. I picked up some New Zealander, but mostly British. You know, the main places—Liverpool, Manchester, Cambridge, and then out of the way places like Chorleywood and Southampton. You have an odd dialect."
"God, and here I was mocking your observation skills. Cambridge; but spent time in Chorleywood and Southampton too. Yeah, I went to Cambridge for schools. Dad didn't want his apple in his eye without a proper education for future jobs and mergers with sons of political men." Her lightness began to return.
"So he dumped in you in England." He responded in kind.
"He had the money and didn't want to take chances. Incidentally, that's where I got my look, since everyone knows that the British invented punk and Goth."
"I don't know if they invented Goth, but I do agree about the punk. But why the look, which is no doubt the next question?"
"Oh, just my way to get back at Dad, you can imagine his face when he saw me for the first time, like this." She had a Cheshire grin.
He almost laughed yet again. "I can; you don't like your father?"
She sighed again. "I don't know. I do like him but…his answer to everything is to buy out. He keeps thinking he could buy my affection like he buys mansions and those foreign cars and everyone else in the East coast."
He ruminated for a while before replying. "I can appreciate that."
She quite perked up. "You do?"
"My…father is rather rich, although he doesn't buy me out like yours, but still, even his money does eclipse me at times."
Her mind sparked up. "Really? I bet he'd act like mine did if he saw you in that getup."
"Actually, I'm not sure, sometimes he's rather unpredictable." It was the first time he spoke about Batman like that.
"One of those, huh? Well, I don't have that problem; he's predictable enough for my tastes."
"So anyway, you dress like that to get his attention?"
She chuckled ruefully. "That and I didn't know what look to go for. It didn't quite work as he threatened to cut off my trust funds if I continued to dress like that."
"Oh." He said, dumbly.
"Yes, I wasn't sure what to do because…I admit, I rather like his money. Of course life didn't get easier as I started to get paler and paler like this right before I was to be 16."
"I was trying to find a way to ask about that." Robin leered at her silver skin.
"I'm sure, as many people do. He was freaking out and so was I. Then during my sweet 16 birthday pool party, I was teleported away and woke up in a space ship. You're no doubt looking at me like I was out of my gourd, right?" She tensed up and then glanced at his perfectly serious face.
"Starfire is an alien, so no; I don't think that in the least."
She then relaxed herself. "Alright then, so anyway I woke up on this ship, and apparently I wasn't the only human whisked aboard. There were some others too and they had super powers like me. While we were there, we found out a great many things—that we were half-aliens and all our mothers were impregnated by this race called the, I hope I can pronounce this right, H'San Natall. All born on June 21st, we were supposed to be part of a sleeper agent program by the H'San Natall to defeat the super-powered beings already on Earth."
"That's…different." He sounded, about in shock.
"Yeah, and we broke out, obviously, or I wouldn't be talking to you now, and I wasn't sure what to make of any of this: one day I was a rich Daddy's girl and now I'm a superhero. Since my powers look like silver, I took the name Argent."
"That's some origin." He said, in awe.
"I bet yours is better, mine seems so…clichéd." She converted his self depreciation to herself.
"I wouldn't go that far. So now that I know, you wish to be called Toni or Argent?"
"It doesn't matter, I let go of Toni a while ago. After knowing the truth and since my "father" didn't care much of me, I decided to take the route of all teenagers and bum around Europe before going down under. Using my powers to help people since my powers were to hurt people and dwell in the irony of my actions. I know, you're no doubt thinking "you and help are not meant to be in the same…."" She continued her self deprecating.
"I don't know about that. If you're referring to your spoiled days, yeah, but at least you're getting over it with your good deeds." The Teen Wonder said, optimistically.
"Trying to, anyway."
"Sometimes, all it takes is just one good deed to atone for the mistakes of the old." He maintained his optimism.
"That experience talking?"
"Somewhat. Just did some things I'm not proud of a long time ago and I've been working on correcting that ever since." He tried not to brood.
"Oh come on, you seem like such a boy scout, so antiseptic and squeaky clean." She said in a backhanded compliment.
"When I want to be, to whomever needs it; to myself is another story."
"You don't look like the type to beat yourself up."
He reminisced about the time he was infected with Slade's chemical reagent and did in fact nearly beat himself to death. "I have my moments."
"Everyone does. Just when and what brings it out as the catalyst. Not to mention lifestyle choices. Since you know my choices, what about yours?" She inquired.
"Well…" He hesitated.
She sighed. "Not even a little hint?"
"I don't know."
"Didn't we already established this or are you just that secretive?" Argent questioned, defensively.
"Usually." Robin shrugged.
"All the time? What about your teammates? Almost 4 years and I'm sure they must know some things."
"You'd be surprised." He tried not to choke on the irony of Raven knowing everything as she entered his mind so long ago.
"It's not like those secrets are going to help right now, besides at least if you're going to…go, then at least someone else will know and not take it to the grave. Not like I'm going to tell the wankers that keep us here."
"They could torture you." He barbed.
"Don't tantalize me. Besides, I'm not one of your team, so it's not like we're close or acknowledge each other's existence until now."
"That isn't giving me much comfort." He returned with Raven's signature deadpan.
"I'm not asking for a real name or the color of your eyes or anything, just something so I don't think you're a total flake. I don't exactly tell many people of myself." She about steamed the section of the tube as she ranted.
"Well, I don't suppose one item is going to hurt." He acquiesced.
"You always do this well to people you just met or just your friends? Because I don't know about the latter right now." She folded her arms, defensively.
"No. No. It's just been a long while since people want to know about me since I am apparently "a flake." It usually takes me a while to open up on anything, and they usually leave by the time I do." The Teen Wonder had an epiphany.
"I can appreciate that. And the Titans?"
"They are thankfully patient. But I should open up to them more, shouldn't I?" The epiphany was sinking in.
"That's an idea. The birdie is learning." Argent perked up and resumed her light tone.
He ignored her comment and sucked in another breath. "Fine, what would you want to know?"
"Such a luxury of choices. You said you had some issues with your father too?"
"Of sorts. Without giving too many details, it just came down to a difference of opinion. It did involve the costume, and then afterwards when I got on my own, people thought I quit or he fired me, it's all the same." The Teen Wonder said in an air of almost nonchalance, however his compatriot was not.
"What…brought that on?"
He continued on, sounding in a muted, horrific tone. "I got hurt and he panicked and didn't want me to keep going. I thought differently but he wouldn't listen and I figured it was time to move on."
"Fathers, they never seem to listen, do they?" She wanted to place her hand on the tubing, since she couldn't give him her hand but she was still unsure.
"When they want to. Beyond that, I think it's selective hearing." He started to feel more emotion now.
"I could toast to that, if I had something to drink. So how did it feel being on your own? I was rather…blasé about it; saw it as a means to an end."
He reflected. "It was…different, it felt so alien to me being on my own."
"So how did you meet the Titans?"
"Well, we kinda met each other and just formed a team. You know of the Gordonian invasion of Jump City?"
"I think so. Wait. That was you?" She said, in shock nearly.
"Yeah, met everyone all at once."
"How convenient." The Punk Goth snorted.
"In a way, after that, my life quite changed." He adopted a warm tone, savoring the feeling.
"In more ways than one I'm sure. I'm sure you never thought you'd be talking to a punk Goth with super powers while sitting a plastic tube swathed in wrappings."
"Never." He cracked a smile.
"See, you're lightening up and you revealed yourself. The world didn't end, did it?"
"No. It didn't." Robin's smile cracked wider.
Argent began to notice his features. "As much as my attire screams anti social, having some company around is nice once in a while, isn't it?"
"Indeed." He sighed. "That thing I'm atoning for as I alluded to earlier, since I was always on my own and didn't think of the team dynamic, I ended up doing something extremely selfish, and undermined my friends, and I'm still doing my best to make up for that." The Teen Wonder's notorious brooding began to rise again.
"Funny, because you seem like a real team player. But yeah, friends are funny like that, and then if you take company and all that, one step further."
He blinked. "You mean the opposite sex or you being a …"
She widened her eyes, but that didn't seem possible. "What? No. Do I seem gay to you?"
"Well…the punk look doesn't exactly make most men come hither to you." He mocked.
"Me? What about you and those fruity colors? And while I'm on that, didn't you live in a cave with Batman?" She accused right back.
"That doesn't tell you something?"
"You really don't get it, do you?" Argent was ready to scream.
"Get what?" Robin said, clueless.
She sighed in exasperation. "Never mind. You don't get along with many girls, do you?"
"I could say Catwoman and Poison Ivy but my age? Not really."
She rolled her wide eyes once again "Figures. Anyway, to get back on what we were supposed to be talking about, one thing I noticed on the road is you don't have much time for a love life, you talk a good line, but A) most guys are freaked out by the clothes or the skin, and B) don't go the distance for a long distance relationship and C) can't rise to the challenge. But I'm sure a ladies man like you is aware of all that anyway, right?"
"Me, a ladies man? No. That's not my thing." He suppressed memories of his encounters with Blackfire and Kitten, along with Starfire.
"Oh come now, you're smart, you're charming, you lean toward handsome, I'm sure you'll make a girl very happy one day as Mrs.…Robin, if not already." The punk Goth said, supportively.
"No, right now I've got larger worries and I'm not looking around." Robin tried to veer off the conversation.
"You found somebody, is that it?"
'I went this far.' "Well, yes and no."
"Which is it?" Her curiosity was running rampant.
"Just a friend I know."
"Do you have feelings for…" Argent cutely played on his wording from before.
"Her. And I don't know. Just bad timing all around anymore."
"I'm sorry." She apologized, genuinely.
"She does make me less edgy with myself and make me feel things I've never felt before but…" He didn't know what he could say or think next.
He sighed in frustration. "I don't know if that is for me. At least for now."
She suddenly felt recharged. "Really?"
"Yeah, as you can figure, I'm all business, I don't know if I need anyone like that until the major headaches in my job go away." Robin said in near defeat.
"Does she feel the same?"
"I'm not sure; it's been a while since I asked her. I'm afraid it would either blow up in my face if I did or she's simply moved on." He said, forlorn.
"If she was a real girl, she wouldn't act like that. I wouldn't if I were in her place."
"A pity I'm not dating you then." The Teen Wonder jested.
Argent laughed mirthlessly. "Yeah." She started to contemplate. "So what is the girl like? Obviously must have gotten something to pique your interest."
He cleared his throat. "Well…"
"Come on, in for a penny…"
"In for a pound, I know. I already said enough about this, can I pass?"
"Fair enough, we can skip to another question, like my first one: what's the origin of your name?" She smirked once again.
"That's no fair." He nearly whined.
"It's the lady or the tiger." She punned.
"Ha. Ha. Well…" 'Should I tell her? I certainly told her enough, at least by circumstance. Besides, she did tell me her past, I should give her a crumb instead of all this theory.' "Alright."
She leaned forward, like a child begging for a bedtime story.
"At least you're enthusiastic." He paused before speaking again. "The name Robin is a nickname my…mother gave me when I was born. When I became Robin, I used it as my alter ego to honor her memory and how much she…has affected my life. That was part of the schism with Batman…he didn't want me to be Robin anymore after I got hurt but I am not ready to leave my identity behind. Or their memory." The punk Goth couldn't tell but he was misty eyed behind the mask.
"I'm sorry. Yet again." She suddenly felt guilty.
"Don't be. I never told anyone that before." 'Which is true, not counting Raven's mind trick.'
"I'm honored you shared that with me." The punk Goth was nearly emotional.
"Well…It did feel good to say it after so long." He said as if a great burden was lifted from his shoulders.
"And just like before, the world didn't end there either, now did it?" She adopted another Cheshire grin.
He returned it. "No, it didn't. Again."
"Since you seem to be in flux and…out of sorts with Batman, you going to make your own identity one of these days?"
"I'm not sure, but I've had a hint or two."
"If you do, try for black and blue, you'd look good in it." She winked.
The Teen Wonder chuckled, suppressing his future alter ego of Nightwing. "I'll keep that in mind."
"I wonder if they've forgotten about us." Argent mused.
"I doubt it."
"Well, before they haul us away. There is something I want to ask you. I feel like I know you enough to ask. Of course it might blow up in my face if you show off that patented defensiveness." She mimicked his tone.
"What is it?"
For the first time, the punk Goth was at a loss for words. "What kind of girl do you like?"
And the Teen Wonder had no stock answer. "I—I never thought about that. Why?"
"Just answer my question."
"Well…I like…" He was about to answer when Madame Rouge and two of the androids marched in.
"To answer your question, I don't think he likes little girls with grease for makeup." Rouge barbed.
Both teens stood up at attention, muscles and nerves tense. Argent made a defensive pose.
"I must thank you, my clown; I had often wondered why he named himself after a silly little bird, it was his mother." The mistress of manipulation walked over and jeered.
Robin looked over to the punk Goth, accusatory. "You set me up, didn't you?"
"I didn't. I swear I didn't."
"You miserable…" The Teen Wonder tried to kick the plastic and her image as hard as he could.
"I didn't, I am not with them! Please believe me!" She pled as he still kicked at the plastic.
Rouge simply laughed. "As amusing as this is, we need the clown. Excuse me while I make an adjustment." She walked by the control panel and the same unlocking sound was made as then the crane appeared out of nowhere again.
"At least I can still fly and fight back." Argent levitated and pushed as hard as she could to have the tube fall out on the ground and began to roll it like a hamster wheel, running as fast as she could against the elastic villainess and the sentries.
"Not for long." Rouge turned her legs into springs and sprung out of the way, elongated her hands and gripped the tube while rolling her arms on the tube as Argent kept rolling along. Rouge shook it with all her force, sideways.
"Good thing these are indestructible."
Just as her projectile bounced like a pinball, Argent experienced it firsthand as when Rouge ceased her shaking, she collapsed against the translucent plastic, almost unconscious, her head throbbing.
"Toni!" Robin yelled. Argent looked up at him, forcing her will to not pass out from the pain.
"First name basis are we? I wonder what I have to do to elicit that out of you." Rouge taunted.
He tried to ram himself against the plastic and Rouge just smirked as he continually failed.
"Don't worry; you'll get your chance. See you shortly." Rouge winked. Argent just moaned as Rouge gestured for the androids to approach her and helped her prop up the tubing back to its original position and lock it with the crane and hauled her away.
"Don't worry, child, you didn't betray him. We have the cells wired for sound. I just wanted to see the look on his face, unraveling it all, after the hell you went through to open him up. My kudos to you." Rouge said as they were out of earshot.
"The pleasure is all mine." Argent spat out.
"Indeed but it won't matter." She mocked the punk Goth as the tube was brought on a conveyor belt, with Professor Chang waiting at the end near a control panel.
"It seems your heart is beating, let's still that." Rouge just stared on as Argent's tube was coming closer to Chang.
"He didn't even get a chance to answer my last question. I wonder if I would have fit that answer." Argent said sotto voice, as her mind drifted to Robin before Chang pulled a level and freezing her, but not before tears began to form in her eyes.
I thought it was time for a change of pace, after all the happy endings I've done, I felt it was time for a sad one. I've just begun playing with the possibilities with these two.
Leave a review if you wish, have a Happy Valentine's Day, and see you in the funny papers.