Five teens sat on the semicircular couch. On the screen before them, an impossible race was shown.
"I'm gonna get ya!", Cyborg yelled. On the top half of the screen, a fat black man in white with blue trim 'skater boi' clothes nearly flew along the obstacle course. His skate board didn't seem to buckle under its rider's weight or shatter when it landed from a hundred feet in the air.
"No way. I'm too far ahead.", Beast Boy proclaimed. A blonde haired, blue eyed boy took the track even harder. The character of the video game managed to drive his white moped (which had taken untold hours to unlock) down a railing that sat beside no stair. Metal sparked as it grinded along, racking up points.
"What's that?", Beast Boy asked puzzedly. "I'm sorry, did I break the game? Is it supposed to say 'High Score' in big honkin' letters like that? Is it asking my initials because it needs to tell the company to fix it? Did I break it? I didn't mean to use all those mad skillz on it? Why's your initials underneath mine? What's this First Place up on the screen? Why's my name right next to it?"
"Alright.", Cyborg started. "No need to rub it in like that."
Cyborg slapped him on the back in congradulations.
Starfire tried to squeeze the life out of him. "Oh! You have not broken the game and are simply revelling in your victory. I congradulate you friend."
Beast Boy wheezed. "Gee, can I get some love from somebody who can't bench press a bus?"
Goth stuck out a pale and skinny hand to shake.
"You better get that back here, mister.", Raven told him. Goth promptly returned to massaging Raven's feet. Raven sighed contentedly and resumed letter her head loll over the arm of the couch.
Cyborg chuckled. "You look like you enjoy that more than sex."
"This relaxes me.", Raven said in complete monotone. "Sex leaves my room trashed."
"Sex leaves the entire floor trashed.", Beast Boy complained. "I thought I was having a nightmare when my bed tried to eat me!"
"Friend Beast Boy, I have smelled your room.", Starfire admonished. "If your bed is capable of consuming you, perhaps you should recommend it a diet of the contaminants that coat your floor?"
Soon all three that did laugh were laughing. Even Raven had a small smile fixed in place. Goth remained expressionless as always but let his eyes glint in the light.
Then, dripping wet, Robin walked in the door holding a steel briefcase.
"Goth, get to my room and stay there.", Raven began. "We're under attack."
The girls floated straight up to fly over the couch and over to Robin. Beast Boy and Cyborg joined them immediately.
"I didn't see anyone.", Robin told them.
"So you didn't just get tossed in the bay?", Cyborg asked.
"Did you try to commit suicide under the pressure of leadership?", Goth asked. "Wanna go somewhere and talk about it?"
"You are not obsessing over the Slade and searching for him underneath the sea?", Starfire asked with hands clasped.
"It's a long story. One I'm not going to tell. Ever.", Robin replied.
"Wait a minute. Goth?", he asked.
"I recognize that look.", Goth stated plainly. "It leads to one of two scoldings."
Then Goth's voice changed into a frightening impersonation of Robin. It sounded exactly the same, but somehow sinister. Or at least greedy and conniving.
"Are you sure you're not the Red X?", Goth stated in his altered voice. "I just came in dripping wet and you exist. You must be the supervillain who caused this. Forget that I responded to Raven's signal when the Red X broke your arm in the middle of broad day light."
"Then there's the favorite." Goth switched back to his normal voice for only that sentence before going on in his Robin impression. "Raven doesn't look absolutely ecxtatic right now. Sure, I know about her meditation and powers. But I blame you. You must not be treating her well enough. I'm going to throw you in jail after I break my foot off/"
Cyborg interrupted. "No, that's me. I got the break off feet remember."
And with that Cyborg held up his leg in his hand. The jovial mood returned.
Robin allowed a smile. "I'm going to my room. I have some...thing to research."
Raven trained an eye on Goth. "I, as well, have to research some...thing. I'm going to my room."
"You're flying there?", Goth asked.
"Well, I don't have my shoes on.", Raven told him. He seemed to be the only one in the group that commented on anyone's use of powers.
"I could carry you there.", Goth dead panned.
"But you can't bench press a bus.", she reminded. "And I am kind of hip-py."
"I like your hips.", Goth said following her.
In Robin's room-
The first thing Robin checked was Goth's story. Apparently, he was actually attacked by the Red X to coerce Raven into giving him a magical text without invading the tower. In this world, he had saved the news footage of the fight where the Red X and Robin tore up the street, Raven mostly protected Goth and the other Titans protected the crowd.
His personal journal, stored in an identical steel breifcase, told him the details of his new life.
Starfire liked him but he tried to ignore it for the sake of the team, letting her shine her affections to avoid a repeat of the 'girl who is a friend' incident. When she really needed him, he was there. Being the first to tell her she wouldn't be replaced by her sister. Discovering her sisters marraige sham. And assuring her that she was 'a girl who is a friend' with the occasional 'offering of the flowers, preferably those colored of human blood'.
Goth had been dating Raven for years now, but they saw little of each other since one had college and work while the other's powers randomly spiked if she felt too much. His apathy made him the perfect match for her.
Raven had never turned into the nightmare that Robin knew of. After Trigon's defeat, she even seemed to become more sociable. Perhaps now, she wouldn't end up in the white room Starfire spoke of from her visit to the future.
Beast Boy had been hit hard by Terra's betrayal. But after the plaque, he started to accept her being gone. In a couple weeks, he was back to his old self. He never forgot her. It was just that his cheerfulness was sincere, and not a defense mechanism of the heart break.
Cyborg was Cyborg. He built. He competed. He never mentioned Jinx after the destruction of the H.I.V.E.
And it seemed that the fight that he left the Batcave in never occured. Bruce understood the lessons learned from Dick and let him walk. But the fear that he might retreat into his own darkness was offset by his companions in the Justice League.
And the statistics about the world were even better.
The Justice League was no longer seven, but hundreds. Supergirl didn't turn down an offer to become a Teen Titan, she simply was already a part of the Justice League. The same for the Star Spangled Kid, who served with her step father. On the other hand, the Huntress was another representative of Gotham, making sure the city was well protected.
There were teen heroes everywhere. There just wasn't ever a reason to ask people like Argent, let alone more aloof heroes like Jericho, to wear a communicator.
The world's population was up. Atlantis had diplomatic relations with the rest of the world. The Brotherhood of Evil had disappeared years ago thanks to the work of Beast Boy's previous team, the Doom Patrol. The graduates of H.I.V.E. that weren't serving out their mandatory minimums were absolutely incompetent and no danger to anyone.
His plan payed off. He figured Terra would be the key ingredient to not only set Raven off, but keep the fight going long enough for Jinx. Beast Boy was spent on the effort to prolong the fight as well. If Jinx was pumped up the right way, she would be powerful enough to do something before unseen. So while Raven's form would be trying to reshape the world into hell, Jinx would make sure that went completely wrong. It was reshaped into a better world.
And his camera that monitored Terra showed she was gone, even if her plaque remained. There was no evidence of Terra's ressurection in his steel briefcase from reality before, only that of his allowing the world to be changed. He hoped, that like everyone else, Terra did have a better life.
In a classroom-
"Today we're going to write and essay, class.", the teacher stated. She obviously meant that the students would be writing an essay. But it was one of those uniform enforcing, super liberal, up to the minute with the latest theories high schools. So she said 'we'.
"We want to write about how we want to be a superhero.", she continued. "Write about what powers we would have and how you would help."
A thin blonde girl raised her hand. "What if we don't want powers?", she asked.
"Excuse me?", the teacher replied.
The blonde girl spoke hesitantly. "I mean...Most people with powers become criminals, either because they live outside the norms due to their conditions or are emotionally manipulated by those that want to exploit them. And what if your powers are uncontrollable, like Plasmus? Super villains trying to kill you all the time. Everyone expecting you to be better than everyone else."
"I would hate to ever have the...the 'oppurtunity'...to become a..."
In Hive Five lair-
"You morons!", Jinx screeched. She continued yelling at everyone who would listen. Billy Numerous managed to make himself scarce for once. Gizmo flew away on metal wings. Mammoth went grocery shopping. See More saw his way out of the situation and took it. Kyd Wykked just stepped into a hole in the ground.
Only when she was alone in her room did she calm. Her 'friends' just didn't get it. She was gonna end up a loser like they were. Unless they managed to do something to impress somebody big, like whoever replaced the Legion of Doom, they were gonna be small time suckers bouncing in and out of jail for the rest of their lives. And when that failed, she was gonna take the first superhero that offered redemption up on the offer. Not for any guilt mind you, just as a career move. Hopefully, they would have a tight butt.