Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans; Murakami would enjoy my new DS too much.
Author's Note: See the dedication below for the whys beyond another stab at comedy.
Dedication: To Snarky Jargon, Insomnia's Phone Number, or whatever she calls herself at the moment. Just a birthday present and an April's Fool piece to say "Thanks for making me laugh when I needed it", among other things. I would do something more specialized but her tastes for fandoms are obscurer than mine, God Forbid.
Timeline: Post Season Four. I'm getting so general anymore.
The sun is shining in the bay, the birds are tweeting, and all seems so well within the giant T with the exception of one female Titan. The Titan that everyone and their dead Terminator knows would be off putted, agitated, and even miffed if you only glanced at her. The fact she awakened with her bed short sheeted would presented the day to a lovely start.
"Well, that's just peachy." She teleported out of the bed and eyeballed the scene of the prank.
'This is the third prank this week on me. How did he get in here? I locked the door and sealed off all the possible openings like the vents. How?'
Raven was positive it was a male, for the last time Starfire attempted a joke, the blue mold that inhabited their fridge almost conquered the Tower. The question now is which male?
'Well, Robin has those outdated puns, plus he has as much humor as a rock. Cyborg, maybe. He can be funny when he wants to be. So, the only culprit is who else, Beast Boy. He's the only one who can transform into microscopic creatures to perform the perfect entrance and escape.'
She stared at her bed, levitated her cloak to her and walked out of the room. She trudged throughout the corridors and rolled her eyes at the sun.
'You don't have to be obnoxious with the sunlight, you know. Some of us aren't morning people.'
"Why, greetings, Raven!" Starfire's ever chipper voice permeated Raven's ruminating.
"Starfire." 'And, then, there are the rest of us.'
"How are you on this grandiose morning?"
"I had a rude awakening."
The alien's eyes widened as she accompanied her friend. "You mean you had a horse of night?"
Raven suppressed the urge to rotate her eyes again. "Nightmare you mean, but no, I just woke up and found my bed short sheeted."
"The trick where you tuck in the sheets under the bed while the person you are tricking is asleep."
The bright Titan blinked her eyes in bewilderment. "Why would they perform this?"
"Because when the target wakes up, they can't get out of bed."
"Why?" Starfire asked childlike.
"I wish I knew. For pranks, it's rather…"
"That and it's just ancient." Raven suddenly had a thought. 'No, it couldn't be Robin. Besides, Beast Boy's jokes are just as dated.'
"Is there a reason for the jokes of practical?"
"None as far as I can tell. I think they're all idiotic. And so is this practical joker running throughout the Tower." The empath veiled her bitter tone.
"Well, there was the dumping of hydrogen oxide on top of the door for Cyborg, not to mention the mâché of papier casting on his body, the blue dye of hair for Beast Boy, the transference of alum into my Zorka Berry stew, plus my current attire." Starfire nodded down to her bare legs, her violet leggings conspicuously missing.
"What happened there?"
"My appendages adhered to the ceiling by a sticky substance. I had to use my eye lasers to free my being."
"Don't you have another pair?"
"They all were absconded when I surveyed my cloister."
The alien shrugged the correction off. "Yes, I shall endure as I have not been joked of practical as opposed to you whom…"
"I had my tea replaced with coffee grounds, the water to my shower re-routed to my sink and vice versa, and the short sheeting." The demoness elaborated on in her monotone.
"A trifecta. It is transparent that the joker is pursuing you."
"Clear you mean. But yes, it's rather obvious."
"Have you discerned a possible pattern of behavior?" Starfire questioned.
"Well, his attention is obvious but he seems to strike every two days with everyone. I wouldn't mind keeping watch on them as they sleep but I'm sure they'd all have fits."
"You are willing to have the insomnia for this?"
"I'm a night person," Raven deadpanned.
"Who do you think the joker of practical is?"
"The practical joker of the group as always — Beast Boy."
"You always assume the pits in Friend Beast Boy."
The dark Titan eyed her quizzically. 'Pits?' "I don't know why you would think that."
"Well, there was the occurrence where you banished him to another dimension…" the alien observed.
"That was one time. He was wet and shook himself all over me."
"Then, there are the multiple occurrences of insulting his intelligence."
"Well, he isn't the sharpest tool in the shed," Raven snapped defensively.
"If that is correct, then, why do you maintain your rancor and sharp to the obvious?"
"Point to the obvious. And that's because someone should warn the world of his…" the empath felt her companion's eyes on her. "I don't have a leg to stand on, do I?"
"You do not."
"Just call me stumpy. But I still think it's him."
"Of course." Starfire dismissed her.
"Well, it is," the enigmatic empath barked.
"Do you have the evidence?" They almost reached the living room.
"Well…I…not at the moment."
"Then, perhaps you should bestill your suspicions until you do?"
"And perhaps you should stop hanging around Robin so much," Raven fumed.
"Raven, I believe we are conscious to the answer of your statement." Starfire hiked to the next room.
"Pits?" Raven plodded behind her. The male Titans were creating a commotion in the kitchen.
"Dude, I am not the practical joker. If I were, why I would dye my hair like this!" Beast Boy defended as he pointed at his now neon blue hair.
"Well, who else could it be? It can't be Robin or Raven, and we all saw what happened with Star's last time she tried to make a gag. The Tower smelled of mold for two weeks!" Cyborg countered.
"Talking about the practical joker, I presume?" Raven cut in.
"Yes, they struck again last night." Robin informed.
"They gave me a Princess and the Pea treatment," Cyborg grumbled.
"Princess and the Pea?" the daughter of Trigon solicited.
"You know the gurney I sleep on? Well, someone stacked me on top of five gurneys. When I woke up, I couldn't move and they all collapsed under me. I don't know how whoever got me up there but I…hey, you two girls could easily do it. You got the powers!"
"You're blaming us?" Raven scoffed.
"Who else could have done it?"
"One: I was pranked as well as someone short sheeted my bed last night. And two: besides us, Beast Boy could morph into any animal with the proper strength to do it." Raven glared at the changeling.
"No, it wasn't me. I was pranked last night, too. Someone sneaked into my room and dipped my hand in cold water. I thought I had…wet the bed. I stayed in the bathroom all night." Beast Boy was ready to leap out the window.
Cyborg was the first to laugh. "At least there is some justice in the world."
"Darn, and I wanted to burn him in effigy," the mystifying Titan barbed in her monotone.
"You're always on my case, I wonder if it's a sign of latent affection…" Beast Boy waggled his eyebrows.
Raven blinked her eyes in shock and suddenly grateful for her father's death as they adopted their ivory glow. "You did not…"
"Enough. At least this didn't happen to you. Whoever cut out all my tights and replaced my boots with these. They finally got me last night." Robin was behind the counter, and then demonstrated his new costume change — his green tight leggings were cut, exposing his bare legs, with green elf boots as the final compliment.
The Titans restrained themselves for all but a minute before detonating in a paroxysm of laughter.
"Dude! If you want the elf appeal, get yourself the ears," Beast Boy remarked, indicating at his own ears.
"You look like a refugee from Santa's gay Christmas village," Cyborg chimed in.
"I…I am not going there," Raven commented.
"I believe it is most…distinguishable." Starfire ogled his legs.
None of the other Titans were astounded by the alien's statement.
"Everyone have a good laugh? Good. Look, I could just question each one of you until I figure out who is the practical joker but we're all friends here, I figured we could wait until whoever of you gets this out of your system and keep your anonymity. Besides, after the agony with Trigon and Slade, we need the light change of pace."
"And finally I have the pardon to quote the word 'jocularity'," Starfire chirped.
"So do I." Raven challenged to crane her head away from Robin's legs but could not.
"Fine, now I have to go and re-stitch my tights." Robin traipsed off.
"Robin? Do you need assistance? I very well could…" Starfire escorted him, leaving the other three.
"Well, at least for a cover, you're doing a good job not calling attention to yourself as no one wants to be near you, bed-wetter," Cyborg sneered at the changeling.
"Just wait 'til you sleep again," Beast Boy muttered.
"No, I won't. I learned my lesson from you and the computer virus last year."
"Don't go there."
"Enough. We need to calm our emotions." The empath interrupted.
"Doesn't that sound like déjà vu?" Cyborg jabbed.
"Deja wha?" Beast Boy queried in his confusion.
"Déjà vu: the sense that previous events are happening to you again. Read a book," the half machine groaned.
"Look, we know it's Beast Boy, so why don't you say you did it and we can move on?" Raven sighed.
"But I didn't do it."
"Don't make me banish your brain to another dimension…again." She rummaged through the fridge for her teacup and had a sip.
"Don't you usually drink hot tea?" Cyborg pondered.
"I would, but I need instant solace after my night, although, now that you mention it, someone did replace my herbal tea with coffee grounds. Stayed up two nights too long."
"I can understand putting that alum stuff in Starfire's berry goop, though, why I'll never know as it's pointless anyway. But I think screwing around with your tea is a bit much," the synthetic teen rejoined in sympathy.
"At least it's giving me an interesting form of revenge — trapped in a giant tea pot with the water slowly broiling," the demoness darkly grinned.
"A teapot? What are you, the Penguin?" he jibed.
"I think she should have kept the top hat from Mumbo in that case. Now all she needs is a cackling laugh and a cigarette holder," Beast Boy mused.
"Just wait till you two sleep," she murmured sotto voce.
"What?" the boys quizzed.
"Now what do we do, Sam?" Beast Boy mulled over.
"I don't know, Max. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Cyborg implemented a ruminative pose.
"I don't know, Cyborg. Raising a chia pet just to smash it?"
Raven just revolved her eyes again and promenaded out of the living room. "Why do I bother?"
"Dude, we should plan our own revenge against this guy," the emerald changeling schemed.
"Yeah, like how would we plan against the guy who is planning revenge on himself? That's brilliant!" Cyborg mocked.
"Dude, for the last time, it's not me!"
"Of course it's you. You're just setting up yourself up as the…"
The empathic noisily exhaled as the tricksters' echoes resonated in the corridor.
"Holy sophomoric behavior, Batman. That's what I get for being around Robin." she deadpanned once more, as she slinked off into the hallway.
A quick teleport to one of Jump City's finer convenience emporiums and Raven would soon be ready for the next prank.
'I hope all this scheming won't turn me into a supervillain.'
She entered the kitchen, hunting the cabinets for strings.
"Raven, what are you doing?" Robin grilled as he strolled up to her.
"I'm hunting gold in our kitchen. What does it look like?" she retorted in her scathing scorn.
"You don't need to be so testy."
She heaved a sigh as she felt his off-putted emotions. "I'm looking for string and tape."
"To set a trap for a certain fly." Raven concealed her sinister nature.
"Should I care to know what that means?"
"Would you want to?" she put in her usual cryptic manner.
"With you? Not really."
"The string and tape are over here." He ventured to the far end of the counter and whipped out the items.
"Thank you." She grabbed them and headed in the opposite direction.
"Raven…?" the Teen Wonder called out.
"What?" She couldn't shroud her impatience.
"You don't sound too happy anymore. I thought with Trigon dead, you'd be able to start feeling emotions." Moreover, Robin couldn't screen his melancholy outlook on her.
"Robin, just because I can, doesn't mean I should. I am still testing myself in how far I can indulge myself."
"That may be but I do notice that of everyone with the pranks, you're the only one who hasn't really laughed at them."
"Why would I laugh at immature jokes?" the demonic Titan scowled.
"It's not the joke itself, Raven; it's the opportunity for it. You sound like you need it."
"If you're done in your little soap opera spiel, I'm fine. I'm simply in no mood for foolishness. Now I got a trap to set, excuse me." She morphed out of the room for extra dramatic effect.
Robin just gazed at the floor with a cheerless expression on his face.
'"It's not the joke itself, Raven; it's the opportunity for it. You sound like you need it."'
Robin's words reverberated in Raven's head — an irony to her penetrating his mind not too long ago. She hovered to the ceiling of her room, taping rows of strings and rolls of flypaper in place.
'Insufferable rot. Like I need a prank to make me laugh. I can laugh just fine.' She stabbed to manufacture a laugh but all that was imparted was a coughing sound.
'Well, I know what laughter sounds like anyway. At least I'll be ready for Beast Boy.'
""Then, why do you maintain your rancor and sharp to the obvious?""
Now she recalled Starfire's observation of her apparent jihad of Beast Boy. 'If I had a nickel for every voice in my head, I'd be a rich woman.'
She concluded her taping and teleported to her bed. 'And now for the final touch.' The demon levitated dozens of mousetraps she bought from and positioned them all over the floor. Surveying her handiwork and, then, the now night-crested sky, she set her head down and closed her eyes — the past week grabbed hold of her.
'Let's see him get through that,' she simpered. 'Like I need to be pranked in order to feel emotions as Robin is maintaining. In all this time, I wish Robin would get a clue. I don't need to laugh in order to feel. I can feel the normal emotions: indignation, embarrassment, the whole range just fine. However, perhaps Starfire is right — perhaps I have been too obsessed in my…rancor for Beast Boy. See? That's another emotion — remorse. Silly Teen Wonder, he would do better than trying to psychoanalyze me.'
Her breathing varied to shallow as she slowly succumbed to slumber.
'He's wrong. Laughing is — to bring out an old chestnut — pointless. I don't need it. I don't need anything now; I'm free of Father and his mind games. I'm as normal as everyone else, perhaps better now that I've cleared myself of such nonsense. Even if I wanted to indulge, I have an image. And since Robin is busy with Starfire, I have to be the serious one. Not that I wasn't already.
'On an interesting note amidst all these pranks, those elf boots on Robin are rather…'
She did not complete her thought as she slept.
Raven dozed off like a log, which unfortunately didn't do well for her as she roused to consciousness, discovering herself taped to the bed in the rolls of flypaper.
'What? How did he…?' She wiggled and struggled against the tape. The daughter of Trigon ripped against the tape, her eyes blazing in a ruby hue.
'I don't get it. I sealed everything off and triple checked everything. I knew I should have bought Petri dishes, in case he was an amoeba. But nooooo, I didn't want to appear too paranoid.'
She stampeded from the bed to the dresser where her cloak was at, and stepped into the various mousetraps along the way.
'Oh, yeah. I forgot about those.'
The powerhouse demoness then floated above the traps to the dresser when she clutched the cloak but felt it snagged. She tugged at it to no avail; the cloak remained in place.
'You've got to be kidding. Why not nail my boots instead?'
Raven exerted all her strength when the cloth gave way and tore apart, propelling her to the ground where she landed on one very ill placed mousetrap.
'Well, this is the most humiliating morning of my life, and the sun is almost up. The perfect start to a perfect day, I'm sure.'
She arose and gawked at her tattered cloak. 'It's one thing to short sheet my bed, rewire my shower, ruin my tea with coffee, tape me to the bed, and have me fall on my posterior to an awaiting mousetrap but I draw the line with my cloak.'
The metahuman used her powers to remove the mousetrap. After she draped herself in her cloak, now reaching to her gluteus maximus, she snarled in frustration as she sashayed out of her room, to go to Beast Boy's room.
'I hope his medical insurance is paid up.'
She swiftly dashed past Cyborg hopping down the corridor, glued to his gurney. "Hey, Raven! What's the rush?"
The shockwave from her rapid pacing forced him to collapse on the floor.
"That girl is always in a rush to nowhere."
Raven ceased her journey as she arrived at the corner near Beast Boy's room, when she perceived a shadowed stranger lurking around in the corridor, depositing things on the floor.
'That must be him; at last, to unravel this ridiculous mystery.'
Her eyes glowed and she willed the stranger to her.
"Alright, Beast Boy, your little prankfest is over."
"Raven, will you shut up?" Robin whispered, as he was no longer obscured by the shadows.
"Robin?" The shock to her system released him and he whisked her around the corner.
"You're the practical joker?" she inaudibly reacted as she struggled.
"Certainly looks that way, doesn't it?"
"But—but no offense, but you got the funnybone of a rock. You're the last person I'd expect this from."
"Offense accepted and exactly. That's why no one thinks it's me."
The empath's eyes flickered in epiphany. "I should have known. You were pranked the least."
"I didn't want to but I had to do something, so I did one that no one could prove: cut my tights in order to be a red herring."
"And in the process confirm those rumors." She couldn't resist the prod.
"At least you're having fun." The Teen Wonder peered around the corner.
"Before I think of a fitting punishment, I have to ask why. And why I was pranked the most?"
"First, stop being so melodramatic, I've witnessed enough of Poison Ivy to know there can be only one super melodramatic queen and you're not her. Second, I thought of this, months ago after Slade first returned but with the events of the Library leading up to your father, I had no time. I did it because we needed a laugh, something to change the pace of the overwhelming dread of Trigon."
Raven suppressed her indignation. "Way to make someone feel special, Robin."
"You know what I mean. You do bring that ominous ness."
The pragmatic female couldn't deny the facts. "Yeah, I do. But why the clichéd pranks?"
"Oh, we're done with the 'why, why, why me?'" Robin couldn't mask his patented smirk.
"It just came to me. And stop that, being a smart-aleck is my job."
"Well, I thought some classic ones would make you young people appreciate the art of pranking as people didn't have high tech tricks and elaborate traps back then," he swelled with pride.
"Well, your outlook does appear to be an anachronism. I did suspect you, but Beast Boy is just as bad, if not worse. You two should get together."
"I'm working on it. But to answer why I'm targeting you, it's like I said before — because you need it."
"I don't need idiotic pranks to feel, if that's what you're getting at. Look what you did to my cloak!" The tempered Titan exhibited her frayed cloth.
"Lighten up; short capes are easier to manage. Besides, Raven, you do bring some of this on yourself."
"What do you mean?"
"I notice that with you, you put on airs. You give the impression you're above people, particularly with the less erudite, like with Beast Boy. That just invites some abuse." He gaped into Raven's eyes.
"I am not above anyone. It's just when I see stupid, childish things, I…"
"Raven, even though I have 'the humor of a rock', I can see how sometimes people need the stupid and childish things to realize that they're human and lighten up now and then to tone themselves down. You've been so busy with your father; you, apparently, forgot that other half of you."
"Please don't lecture me about that. I heard plenty from my mother." Raven growled back in her rejoinder.
"You can't be all serious all the time. Frankly, I've been there and I've seen it in Batman and Slade and many others. I don't want that happening to you. Look, I'll make a bet with you. I just littered the hallway with banana peels. If I don't make you laugh, then, I'll stop the pranks."
"Promise. Here." He handed her a receiver shaped device. "It's a synthesizer, leftover parts of when I made Red X's. I set it to Cyborg's voice. Press this button and yell, "BB, I made some free tofu! Come and get it!"
"Alright, but prepare to be disappointed. But two more questions first. How did you sneak in my room and be so quiet? I was so meticulous."
"I'm the leader of the Titans and Batman's protégé, remember? There is no place I can't get into without drawing attention to myself. That should cover the security protocols and the agility with your little trap last night."
"My other question…"
"That's three now," he joked.
"Stop that. I noticed you do just slapstick here, nothing cerebral, which is your trademark. Was that another red herring to palm off on Beast Boy?"
Robin relaxed himself. "That's more because I didn't want to be malicious about it and besides, Kurt Vonnegut said it best: someone walks out of a bus and trips into a puddle on his way out and people laugh. Physical humor is funny and doesn't have the angst or depression or signs of this EMO culture I know nothing about with the young people."
"Is that a shot at me?"
He ignored her defensiveness. "What do you think?"
"I think you're going to lose this bet." Raven pressed the button and proclaim into the receiver. "Hey, BB! I made some free tofu for you! Come and get it!"
"1…2…3…" Robin counted before Beast Boy rushed out of his room shouting "free tofu!" before slipping into a minefield of banana peels. He shrieked like a child as the banana peels propel him to his final destination: an above bucket of water, tied to a low string trigger, and splashing his head. The bucket dumped itself on his head to finalize the gauntlet.
Raven glimpsed at the spectacle while Robin spliced in with a whisper. "You never saw these pranks yourself, did you?"
She was silent as she leisurely cultivated a grin. "The fool just kept slipping along like a slug. A…green banana slug." The grim Titan's beam progressed to a smile, soon to a chuckle.
"Raven, is that a chuckle?" the Teen Wonder smirked.
"No, it's…gas. Yes, gas." she conversed in normal timber.
"I win the bet anyway," he sustained in his whisper.
"No, you said if I laughed and I…"
"Raven! You're the practical joker? I can't believe this!" Beast Boy faced the amused teenager.
"What? Beast Boy, I'm not. Robin is the…" She then noticed Robin's sudden absence.
As Raven was slack jawed, Beast Boy scurried off. "Wait till I tell everyone!"
"Beast Boy! Stop!" He was out of her reach. She meandered among the banana peels and upheld her grin.
"There goes my image. Perhaps that was his point." The grin modified to a foreboding one.
"I have a long day ahead of me planning something fitting and it will be an even longer night for him."
Have a Happy April's Fool's Day, hope I made you laugh and see you in the funny papers.