-Obviously, I do not own the Teen Titans.
-Starfire is frackin' fun to write.
-Chronologically, this takes place between TV seasons 3 and 4.
-This story is rated "T" for a reason. There are some truly disturbing things in it. I am not kidding. Read at your own risk.
"…Are we there yet?"
A collective groan was felt, if not heard, throughout the car.
"It's been five minutes and seven seconds since the last time you asked me, B," Cyborg sighed from the driver's seat. "It's gettin' old."
"He actually made it past the five minute mark?" Raven mused sarcastically from the front passenger seat. "I might have to take back what I said earlier, about him being completely devoid of self control."
Beast Boy took a moment to glare at her from behind Cyborg's seat. As if to demonstrate her indifference, she propped her chin in her palm and leaned against the window, staring out into the night.
"Like I said the last time," Cyborg reiterated, preemptively interrupting Beast Boy's repeated question, "We'll get there soon. I'm not gonna bother calculating the minutes and the seconds, so please, don't ask me again. Or I might change my mind about letting you test the ejector seat, after all."
"Well, ex-CUSE me!" Beast Boy huffed as he flopped back into his seat, folding his arms and settling into a determined sulk. "Despite what you guys may think, I'm not trying to be annoying! I'm just not used to spending so many hours stuck in this cramped car, okay?"
"Please, friends!" The voice of Starfire the Peacemaker drifted forth from behind Raven. "Beast Boy, Cyborg, all of us are feeling the madness of the stirring, and sympathy for the small fish of the pizza topping! But, please, let us not be angry with one another! It will only make an already arduous journey all the more unpleasant."
Nearly one full minute of grudging silence passed.
"…Sardines," Robin muttered.
His word was punctuated by the sound of Raven's left palm colliding with her brow, as she exhaled with a low, exasperated hiss.
"Wasn't me," Beast Boy declared to the world.
"'Sardines'?" Starfire repeated, blissfully unaware of the psychic maelstrom gathering less than three feet in front of her.
Robin pinched the bridge of his nose, pouring all of his concentration into the supreme effort required to remain calm, positioned as he was in the very center of the eye of the figurative storm which had gradually developed inside the car during the course of the day. A storm which, from where he was sitting, seemed far more threatening than the atmospheric conditions which presently pelted the vehicle's exterior with sheets of snow, ice, and sleet.
"The fish that are used for pizza toppings are called anchovies, Starfire," he explained with a tone of exaggerated patience. "The ones that come packed in the little cans are called sardines."
"Oh… so, my comparison was in error, then? Hee!" Starfire's single, self-conscious giggle sounded somewhat strained. "But it was a 'truthful mistake', yes?"
"Remind me again why we decided to drive all the way to the heart of the Rocky Mountains, instead of taking the T-Ship?" Raven asked whoever was listening. "Maybe I'm crazy, but it seems like California to Montana would have been a shorter trip by air."
"Gasoline is cheaper than jet fuel," Cyborg replied, throwing her a rueful wink. "Even the Titans have to watch our bottom line, sometimes."
"Dude! Somebody got a stopwatch? Wanna see how fast a snail can climb the window?"
"...How expensive would it be to rebuild the entire car piece by piece, were it to unexpectedly disintegrate on one of these turns, showering debris from here to sea level?" Raven's annoyance was becoming palpable.
"Don't even joke like that," Cyborg scowled.
"Who said I was joking? I don't do 'funny', remember?"
"Knock it off, you two!" Robin cut in. "Remember, we're here on business! We have a job to do, just like back at home! This isn't a vacation!"
"You don't say," Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven all muttered simultaneously.
"Perhaps another cheerful driving song would alleviate the gloominess and tension of the hour!" Starfire happily proposed. "However, before I begin… I fear I must confess, my confusion still lingers. Please… could someone explain again, exactly who is doing the circling of the mountain, and why does her impending arrival merit such joyful anticipation and singing?"
"I'm getting out," Raven announced, reaching for her door handle.
"Rae, we're on a bridge."
Masterwork Productions presents…
A Teen Titans story
Written by Corey W. Smith
(Teen Titans and all related characters, with the exception of Snow, are © 2006 DC Comics.)
(This story is based on Warner Animation's version of those characters.)