: Engele(1):
- Day One -


: Disclaimer :
Teen Titans and all its bishounens / bishoujos are not mine
Only Engele and this pretty plotline is mine

: Credits :
Story credits to both Aoi Akiko & (brother) Alexstar Moonlight


- Day Negative Seventy-four -

"Perfect…" he murmured, stroking the small area under the unblinking eye. For her part, the doll merely shifted her gaze suddenly, focusing upon his mask of duality.

/… Master…/

He smiled, "Absolutely perfect…"

- Day One -

She wasn't in the best of moods, having been jolted from comfortable slumber into the waking world by the shrillness of her alarm. Not that she usually required an alarm. No, she'd blasted enough clocks in her lifetime… but then again…

She forced herself to calm – at least enough to begin her morning meditation. Without it, her teammates would be little more than four fried skeletons with overly large goo-goo eyes. Oh, she'd apologize for it… weell… maybe not to Beast Boy – he deserved every consequence of igniting her wrat—

"… croo…"

"AH!" she'd only just righted herself in her customary position for meditation – the sudden coo to her right and behind her startled her…! Flailing momentarily, in an attempt to imitate a poor mimicry of her namesake, she cursed vehemently as she rubbed her sore behind…

"… croo…"

There it was again, that annoying sound. She grumbled as she stood, her hood lifted over her head. Gliding gracefully towards the source behind the modest greenhouse(2) her only female counterpart had decided to build as part of her widening exposure to earthly customs, she growled, "I'm not in the mood for games, Starfire…"

"… croo…?"

Thoroughly convinced the mischievous foreign princess was hiding behind the first wall, she willed her powers to part the canvas flaps suddenly, "Aha—"

She blinked, blinked, and blinked again. For there was no sign of her dear Tamaranean friend – not unless the bouncy ball of energy had shrunk about 20 dress sizes…

"… croo…!"

She schooled her surprise, eyes entering the state of indifference. Sighing, she picked up precious bundle, "This is going to be a loong day…"


He was grinning like an idiot. Really.

He'd had his 496 minutes of undisturbed recharging, 12 minutes of uncomplicated start-up, and 2 minutes of glorious decisions of what he was to have for breakfast. Presently on the menu-in-his-head were toast, eggs, bacon, sausages, pepperoni pizzas, a half-pound steak, a grilled leg-of-lamb…

"Mm-mm…!" he declared, licking his lips as he trooped upstairs to the rooftop where the chickens coop(2) was situated – one of those little things his alien sister had picked up along the way to becoming more human

He had visions of dancing clouds amidst laughing skies, the golden sun smiling widely down at him. Dancing clouds, laughing skies, smiling sun and toast, eggs, bacon, sausages, pepperoni pizza—

(blam)

Whatever happy-happy imagery he had shattered like glass hit by a sledgehammer, falling to multi-coloured pieces all around him… It was replaced by grey gloom and darkest despair, an errant bird blowing a raspberry overhead and smacking itself carelessly into the communications tower… The sorceress he'd run into, on the other hand, seemed unfazed, lowering her shield of transparent black.

"We have a problem…" her monotonous lilt answered his wordless question, thrusting her hands from under her cape. He looked down to see what it was she held… dropped his metallic jaw with a 'clang' as his eye short-circuited—

—and promptly fainted…


Their unexpected guest seated in the middle of their dining table, the Titans gathered around it to discuss what they had learnt that fateful morning…

"I learnt that a bundle of used socks do not make a very nice pillow," announced their green comrade suddenly, ever willing to share his two cents. Five blank stares—eh, no… three eye-twitching, one sweatdropping and one … croo…? stare(s)—answered him. He wisely sunk lower in his chair…

"It's a girl and she's no more than a year old…" declared the supposedly emotionless girl, passing a hand over her captivated audience of one – who more than happily grabbed at the violet-grey appendage and covered it thoroughly with saliva. The demonling shuddered violently, "Somebody please tell me she's not contagious…"

"Oh, may we keep the little human…?" the out-worldly girl begged sweetly, eyes more than doubling in size as she gazed pleadingly at the masked leader seated beside her, "Please be agreeable…" And by way of enforcing her request, she presented the gurgling baby just inches away from said leader's nose, pudgy fingers reaching out to grab and stuff her drooly mouth with gel-slicked hair…

"I can't believe some weird-ass psycho leaves us a baby on our roof…" halfway across the table, the tallest one complained while fixing his sparking cybernetic eye. Behind him, his waffle-maker was made busy, ejecting neat little plates of four-a-piece servings (complete with butter and maple syrup, of course), "I mean, who's crazy enough to climb all the way up to the ROOF, of all places, to leave a BABY, of all thing—"

"Those are very good questions, but right now, they aren't our priority…" the caped crusader replied as evenly as possible, struggling to free himself from the tiny jaws threatening to slobber his hair to death, "First thing's first – now that we have her, what are we going to do with her…!"

"Well…" Beast Boy decided to try his luck one more time, popping into the conversation circle, "… we could start by giving her a name…?" And as soon as the thought had left his tofu-addled brain, his eyes turned starry as he snatched the infant (and took a good chunk of black hair with it) into his arms, "I know, I know – she squeals and she giggles, so we'll name her SQUIGGLES…!"

As if on cue, the tiny newcomer promptly squealed and giggled, agreeing wholeheartedly with her new name. Cyborg picked Squiggles up by the back collar with his arm and brought it to his lap, "I say we call her Wawa – as in Wawa-what-the-h#ll-is-goi—mmph…!"

A black aura slapped against his mouth as Raven guided the bubbly Wawa back to her in a protective sphere, "Please don't teach her words she shouldn't know…" She pondered, "Might I suggest Arathyx, the demi-goddess of dysfunctio—"

There was a crash as Starfire burst the ebony orb and bounced Arathyx in her arms, "We must give her the name Milliand'r Cereae Le'bel du'kyryjk! It is only proper for she bears resemblance to that of a Tamaranea—"

"STARFIRE!"

The child left the hands of her guardian, her over-eagerness and alien strength a little too much. All the Titans scrambled over each other to catch the not-overly-alarmed Milliand'r, currently enjoying her impromptu launching into the air… She began falling, and yet, it was the strangest of strange things… There was a golden glow surrounding her form, misting and merging until it gathered at her back, coalescing into surreal form…

Robin stared, wide-eyed, as the magical creature literally floated into his arms, hiccupping and fluttering her large eyes shut, choosing to suck her thumb and fall asleep… There, just behind her round-round shoulders sprouted two little wings of purest down…

He smiled, of relief and something so much more. Patting the small head affectionately, he asked, "What do you guys think of Engele…?"


She was singing to herself, in that googly way babies often do, babbling tuneless lyrics about her little world… Every now and again, her cutesy little song was muffled by a fist or a foot pushed partway into her mouth – though those weren't the only things she'd taken to her tongue, the list including a piece of circuitry, a handful of cloth, and the one-time leg of Silkie…

He entered the Main Room to find three exhausted Titans sprawled carelessly on the couch, napping. Instead of the usual racket of rock, jazz and Glorgian bagpipes, a soothing lullaby was put on loop on the disc-player. In the place of Gamestation Mega Monkeys pounding the stuffing out of one another, there was a continuous stream of pastel fishies, bunnies, and birdies popping randomly about the fluffy-looking forest made of cotton floss and candy canes…

"Engele…?"

He stepped over his sleeping teammates to the makeshift infant carrier rocking gently on the table – in distinctive blue-on-silver, courtesy of their resident inventor… Catching sight of her most attentive guardian, she reached out her tiny arms, wanting to be carried. He leaned forward and unlatched her safety harness, gathering her small form into his arms. She cooed adorably on his shoulder, chewing on the cape at his shoulder…

"Are you hungry, little one?" he whispered, careful not to wake those behind him as he headed towards the window, a prepared bottle in his hand. She mumbled something incoherently, but made grabbing motions towards the only food she'd known. He lowered it to her mouth, where she latched upon it eagerly, loud sucking noises heard for a while.

He held the plastic vessel steady and just stared at the tiny infant in his arms. In his head, there were a million and two worries to be had. What would happen to them now? What would happen to him now? Should he keep her? Should he give her up? Both situations had its merits, him favouring the latter…

After all, they were the Titans, all of them barely over their mid-teens and definitely did not have the know-how handling a baby… angel… of some sort. Him especially, being responsible for them as their leader… He really didn't have the time for new responsibilities, his shoulders already so burdened with megalomaniacs trying to take over his Jump Cit—

"Robin…?" a soft voice derailed his current train of thought. He turned to acknowledge her presence, "Raven…"

"Found anything?" she asked, hovering beside him, cross-legged. He shook his head, "There hasn't been any report on a missing baby, let alone a missing baby angel… According to the security cameras, there wasn't anyone on the roof all night, let alone someone to put her there… It's all so frustratin—"

"Stop boiling over…" she warned, stroking the delicate fuzziness atop the newest addition's head, "Or at least, don't let her see or hear it. Children are very sensitive to the feelings of their guardians…"

He immediately ceased ranting, "Oh…" Then he grinned, "And you know this… how…?"

She blushed, though she threw a mock glare at him for good measure. Then she grumbled minutely as she brought out a book from behind her back, "I've been reading about childcare since she'd arrived – thought it'll be useful…"

His smile began to soften, "You'd make an excellent mother, Raven…"

It blew her top, black flames flaring up behind her. Only… one couldn't stay mad when the other was burping a gurgling baby over his shoulder. "I don't think I'll ever be a mother…" she murmured, hiding her face under her hood. A pause, "You're already an excellent father…"

He kept silent, turning the precious bundle in his hands over and nestling her on his lap, using his leg as a pillow for now. He faced her fully, "Raven, I can't do this… Not alone…"

She narrowed her eye, "Can't do what? Take care of Engele? You're doing a remarkable job for the first day…"

"No. Be Engele's father," he corrected, fingering the tiny feathers at her back, "It wouldn't be right… Engele needs someone more… stable…" He turned to face the harbour and the city beyond it, "We're Titans. Our lives are different. There's too much that can and will go wron—"

She took his hand and pressed it gently down between the twin feathered appendages, "Do you feel it?"

He blinked, "Feel what?"

"This?" she prompted, tapping the space on his fingers, tapping her own heart at the same time, "It's the sound of a contented heartbeat. Robin, we've trusted you with our lives, and you've never let us down. Engele trusts you with her own, too. The question now is: Do you trust yourself to return it…?

"And as for being alone – who's to say you need to be? In the three hours before this, Cyborg has taken it upon himself to build her a T-carrier, a T-rocker, and whatever else a baby needs… Beast Boy has made it his duty to keep her utterly entertained with his insane antics… Starfire insists on dressing her up properly like the cereae(3) she's proposed to be…

"We're all into this if you say so, Robin…"

"Raven, may I ask an opinion?" he let himself be open to honesty, bracing himself slightly, "You can feel a person's heart through tactile contact. What were your first thoughts concerning Engele?"

"… irresistible warmth…" if he wanted her to be honest, then honest she would be, "It's… rather unnerving… I've never felt so… unnaturally calm… before…"

He smiled, his decision made, "I know just what to do…"


… and so it was decided. For a little while, the Titans could afford the luxury of keeping a baby in the Tower…

Evening came and went, and a new dilemma surfaced—

"Who and where will she sleep for the night?"

Cyborg jumped at the opportunity, "I've a fully-functional T-crib in my room – ain't nothing's gonna disturb her…!" Of course, after the tiny incident of Engele zapping herself as she touched her wet hand to the transparent force-field, the others weren't too sure it was such a good idea…

"I'll take care of her!" Beast Boy made a grab for her, morphing into a kangaroo and popping the laughing joey into his pouch, bouncing to his room. It lasted all of 10 minutes, the panicking boy running to the mind-reader for assistance after Engele wound up lost in the depths of wilderness that what was Beast Boy's room…

"You are not going to give me any trouble," Raven told her sternly while holding Engele still as she poured water over her small figure, washing away the final traces of blue-green fungus collected during her explorations in the shapeshifter's domain. An exhilarating flap of her wings caused a mini-explosion of water…

"Come, you shall sleep with my Silkie…!" Starfire hugged her closely as she was passed to her, ignoring the dripping thundercloud floating away from her, a wet trail left in her wake. She flew Engele to the frilly crib where her own baby was already snoring away, settling her beside the chubby silkworm…

She held the longest record as Temporary Guardian that night…

Over the course of the two hours following, the babies had rearranged themselves rather awkwardly – Engele using Silkie as a pillow, Silkie laying its head on Engele's wings. Engele did not mind her wriggling playmate – but Silkie minded the little fist pulling its leg downwards. Indeed! So Silkie decided to abandon the comfortable space, at least for a little while…

(thump)

Engele hiccupped with the impact, her head hitting the bottom of the basket at the loss of her support; she whimpered, sniffled, and then burst out into an all-out wail…!

Silkie was startled at its companion's piercing call, falling to bits from the overhead ceiling. Not to be outdone, Silkie began its own symphony rivaling for attention…

"Please, Robin, you must take care of Engele by yourself as I cannot decide who to look after first…"

The door slid shut, leaving the masked leader blinking rapidly at the miserable entity sobbing quietly at his chest. He sighed and began rocking her in his arms, "Looks like you're back with me, Engele…

It was his warmth that calmed her, it was his voice that soothed her, it was him that made all her little troubles fade away… Engele stopped fussing, curling up against him as he hummed the silent love song(4) his mother used to sing to him when she was still with him on nights of loud thunderstorms and scary nightmares…

There's a million stars in the summer sky, and each one has a name…
There's a million snowflakes for winter time, no two are the same…
Hush now, no more tears… You're safe, no reason to be blue…
For in the universe of wonders, there's only me and you…


Aoi Akiko rambles:
(1) The name Engele
Engel is German for 'Angel'. Tweaking this a little, the name is pronounced EN-ge-le - like Angela, but with Es instead of As

(2) Starfire having a greenhouse and chicken coop
Just using a little bit of creative license on my part, I'd imagine Starfire the most likely person to own both, just so that she could dabble with something alive...

(3) Starfire calling Engele, cereae
Extensions of my creative license, this shall be my proposed Tamaranean word for 'celestial'... Thus Starfire calling Engele my cereae translates to my celestial...

(4) The song, For the universe of wonders
All © to the lyrics of Robin's lullaby / love song belongs to Aoi Akiko