Welcome to my story. Updates will not regular, but I try to have a life, so that is to be expected. This is my disclaimer for the entire story, however long I choose to make it. I do not own Teen Titans or any other DC property I may use. All OCs are my own creation unless otherwise credited.
It was a slow day for the Titans. It was a slow day in the middle of a slow week in a slow month.
"I'm so bored," Beast Boy moaned from across the main room.
"You could do the dishes," Robin said dryly from his position at the computer.
Beast Boy looked at the mountainous pile in the sink, food and blue mold covering the dishes, and shuddered. "I'm okay being bored."
"Hey B.B., come here so I can beat you in some Street Fighter," Cyborg called from the couch.
"Don't bother dude, I'm not in the mood."
Cyborg was taken aback by that comment. "You feeling okay? It isn't like you to turn down video games."
"Yes, friend Beast Boy, are you ill?" Starfire asked. "The games that are video are some of your favorite things to do."
"I'm fine, just bored." The changeling collapsed on the couch. "We haven't been doing anything for the past forever. I can't do anything to relax cause I haven't been doing anything I need to relax from."
"Beast Boy's right. Crime has been at a minimum lately," Robin said with a frown. "There hasn't been any escapes from the Meta wing at the prison, no major crimes, and our regular patrols are barely turning up purse snatchers. I don't like it."
"I'm going to go train," Beast Boy groaned as he lifted himself up off the couch.
"This is weird," Cyborg muttered. "I've never seen B.B. so bored that he would do extra training sessions without being asked."
"I've never seen Beast Boy do extra training sessions without being dragged into the gym kicking and screaming," Raven droned.
"Perhaps he is altering his primary muscle for blood circulation," Starfire said hopefully.
Cyborg raised an eyebrow and Raven leaned and whispered in his ear, "Change of heart."
"Whatever the reason, I'm not complaining," Robin said. "But I think that something big might be coming."
"Come on man, you're just being paranoid," Cyborg said as he clamped a titanium hand down on Robin's shoulder.
Robin shrugged Cyborg's hand off him and rubbed his shoulder. "I don't know. Whenever crime goes on a vacation, it usually comes back harder than ever. I have to check some things."
Robin got back on the computer, typing furiously. Cyborg tapped him on the shoulder.
"Robin? You told us to tell you whenever you had a scary hardcore moment. You're having one now. Knock it off."
"I need to do this research."
"Yeah, I can do it for you. You aren't going to relax, I know you too well to think that you would. So go help B.B., if you aren't going to do nothing."
Robin didn't move.
Cyborg picked Robin up out of his seat and looked him in the eye. "I'll do this research. Go help B.B., or do the dishes."
Robin escaped Cyborg's grasp and stepped back. "I'm going to go see how Beast Boy's doing."
The elevator doors swished closed as Robin left to go train with Beast Boy and Starfire spoke up. "Was that truly necessary, friend Cyborg?"
"He needed it. It's better that he take it hard and help us all instead of going overboard like normal."
"But perhaps you did not have to be so hard on him?"
It was Raven's turn to speak. "Robin is too stubborn to respond to the normal amount of persuasion. You know that. If not hard on him, he won't listen."
"True. But I do wish it was not that way." Starfire drifted off to the kitchen to get herself a bottle of mustard.
Cyborg looked over to make a comment to Raven, but she had already immersed herself in her book again.
Robin walked into the gym where Beast Boy was tearing into a punching bag. He watched him for a moment before speaking up.
"Feel like going a few rounds?"
Beast Boy stopped pounding the bag and looked over at the team leader.
"No offense dude, but I'm not really in the mood for a beating today."
"I'm not just going to stand there and hit you. And you're better than you think you are."
"Fine. But no bo staff."
Beast Boy collapsed just outside the gym doors a few hours later, sweat dripping of his body. Robin wasn't far behind, sweating but not falling out.
"You did good," Robin panted. "Really good."
Beast Boy rolled over on his back and stared at the ceiling. "Thanks dude. Now I'm going to go to take a shower and collapse on my bed."
WREEET! WREEET! WREEET!
"Sorry Beast Boy, that's going to have to wait," Robin said as he whipped out his communicator. "Rancid is tearing up downtown. Titans, Go!"
"Do you really have to say 'Titans, Go' when there's only two of us here?"
"Just come on. You aren't bored out of your mind now, are you?"
The resident changeling could only grumble under his breath.
Beast Boy tore through the air in the form of a peregrine falcon, Starfire at his side.
The R-cycle ran in front of the T-car, carrying Raven and Cyborg.
They reached downtown in a matter of minutes, and it was painfully obvious that Johnny Rancid had been there, but was nowhere in sight.
"Where did the Johnny Rancid go?" Starfire asked.
"I can't believe he got away!" Robin slammed his fist into the R-cycle for emphasis.
"I know you got issues with Rancid, man, but don't take it so hard."
The Titans all rushed down the street where the crash had come from.
Rancid's motorcycle was lodged in the second story window of a nearby office building. Rancid himself, was standing in the middle of street fifty feet away, looking very confused.
"What happened to me?" His eyes shot up his half exposed black bike in the office building. "What happened to my bike?"
Rancid caught sight of the Titans at the end of the street and started marching towards them menacingly.
"Titans, ready!" All the Titans tensed and readied themselves to attack as soon as Johnny was in range.
Before Rancid was within forty paces of the teen superheroes, something struck him in the side of the head.
There was a flicker of light and a stranger appeared beside where Rancid had just landed.
His feet were covered in large black biker boots coming halfway up his calves with a knife holstered in the top of his right boot. Dirty blue jeans covered the rest of his legs. Long brown hair covered in a dark gray bandana was brought back into a smooth ponytail ending halfway down his back. Even through the dirty white T-shirt, the stranger's well-defined muscles were obvious. This stranger was me.
"You!" Johnny snarled. "You're the one who snatched me off my bike! I'm gonna kill you!"
Rancid shot up to punch me in the face and after another flicker of light I was on the other side of Rancid.
"Too slow," I chuckled.
Johnny whipped around and I slammed a fist into his jaw.
The team down the street could hear it break.
Rancid let loose a sound that was something between a groan and a scream.
He grabbed my shirt and made to headbutt me, but I was gone in a flicker of light.
"Still too slow," I taunted from my new perch atop a telephone pole.
The gray skinned biker growled as I leapt down.
He made a move to grab me but I was gone again.
Rancid spun around, trying to find me.
I tapped his shoulder from behind.
As the biker drew back a fist I sank a steel-toed boot into his groin.
Every guy watching the fight winced and groaned.
"Dude…that was one of the harshest things I've ever seen," Beast Boy gasped.
"Stay down," I hissed, "for your sake, at least."
Johnny could only groan in response.
The Titans were by my side as soon as they had recovered from the shock of seeing me take down Rancid the way I did.
"Dude, that was crazy!" Beast Boy's eyes were huge. "You just took out Johnny Rancid all by yourself!"
"Kick any guy in the sac hard enough and they'll go down," I said coolly.
"I got to say, that was impressive." Robin extended his hand. "Taking out Rancid is something that usually is a lot more difficult."
I shook the Boy Wonder's hand and smiled. "Thanks. But, uh, who are you guys? I mean, you're Robin, I recognize you from when you were with the Bat, but the rest of you…I got no clue."
"You haven't heard of us?" Cyborg laughed loudly. "We're the Teen Titans!"
"…Come to think of it, I have heard something about you guys. I'm not from around here, and I don't read the paper very much, so I guess that's why."
Starfire flew over and her face was inches from mine. As pretty as she was, it was scary when she was that close to me all of a sudden.
"What is your name? How did you come here? What is your favorite color? Do you wish to be my friend?"
The questions came so quickly I took a moment to decipher what exactly she had said before answering.
"Keith, teleported, green, and sure, I can always use another friend."
"Glorious!" I immediately found myself in a bone-crushing hug, gasping for breath.
"Can't…breath…" I wheezed. Unfortunately, she didn't hear me and showed no signs of letting up.
I acted instinctively and was gone in a flicker of light.
"Where did friend Keith go?" Starfire asked, clearly confused as she was now hugging air.
"Over here," I shuddered, rubbing the feeling back into my arms. "Hell of a hug you got there."
"Oh, I am most sorry!" Starfire apologized. "I do forget my own strength sometimes."
"No kidding," I coughed as I massaged my ribs.
"Don't worry about it man," Cyborg laughed. "We've all been on the bad end of one of Starfire's hugs."
"Thanks. It doesn't help any."
Beast Boy snickered. "I like you dude. You're funny."
I merely shrugged.
"Seriously though, that was really impressive with Rancid. How'd you beat him so easily?" Cyborg inquired.
"I grabbed him off his bike, hit him while invisible, confused and disoriented him, and then I kicked him in the sac."
"How did you get him off his bike? That's not easy," Robin said. "Trust me, I know."
I smiled. "Like this."
With a flicker of light I was beside Beast Boy and teleported him up to the top of the office building that Johnny Rancid's bike was still residing in. Less than a second later, I was back down with the rest of Titans while the changeling was still on the roof.
"Alright! That was awesome!" Cyborg was doubled over with laughter, and when a disgruntled looking green hawk flew down, Robin had trouble hiding his smile.
"That wasn't funny!" Beast Boy yelled, trying, and failing, to tower over me. "You could have at least warned me!"
"I could have. But I didn't."
The corners of Raven's mouth lifted slightly.
I caught a sudden moment out of the corner of my eye. Apparently, Johnny Rancid was more persistent than I thought.
By the time Robin noticed Rancid was getting up I had already teleported in front of the dirty biker. There was a hint of malice in my voice when I spoke.
"You know, I don't like people like you. It's people like you that fuck it up for honest bikers like myself. People who tear up shit because they can and don't care what happens to anyone else. That's why I'm gonna punch you in the face."
And I did.
Rancid groaned loudly as I grabbed his broken jaw. "Stay down this time. I don't have a problem kicking a douche bag while he's down."
I looked back at the Titans whose mouths were slightly agape. "You should probably get him tied up or handcuffed or something. I'd do it, but I forgot to bring my bondage gear."
"D-Dude?" Beast Boy was flabbergasted and Raven raised an eyebrow.
I smiled. "I'm just messing with you. The handcuffing him thing would still probably be a good idea."
"Y-Yeah." Robin produced a pair of handcuffs and slapped them on Rancid's wrists.
"Alright! You flustered Robin!" A titanium hand clamped down on my shoulder. "Nothing messes him up!"
"Glad I could impress. But now, I'm hungry and I'm going to get some pizza. You guys are welcome to join me if you want."
I started walking down the street, counting backward in my head. Five, four, three, two…
"Hey, man, wait up! We're coming with!"
One. They're teenagers. They won't pass up pizza.
The pizza shaped diner, which I found to be tacky as hell, was just down the street.
As we walked in the spandex clad teens around me were greeted with all the recognition of superheroes and regular customers. It was freaky.
Not the fact that they were superheroes, but the fact that they were regulars at a place designed to imitate a slice of pizza.
I saw Cyborg and Beast Boy descend into an argument over all meat or all veggie pizza and Raven rolled her eyes.
"I take it this is a normal occurrence."
"Kill me now," Raven droned.
"Oh friend Raven, do not speak so! You must not wish to meet an premature demise." As Starfire continued to wail, I was snickering.
"If y'all are always like this I'm sorry I'm leaving tomorrow."
Robin groaned. "It wears on you quickly."
I felt a smile creep across my lips. "I've dealt with eccentric personalities all my life. You'd be surprised how well I can deal with everything."
One side of the black eyemask lifted. "Eccentric?"
I couldn't help it. I laughed. "I have to call them eccentric since I'm related to them. Other people call them really fucking crazy. But that's what makes them so fun to hang around."
As Robin tried to process this information I walked over to the counter, next to the arguing teammates, and placed an order. "Two large with everything on them."
Beast Boy's eyes were suddenly as wide as dinner plates. "Duuuuuddddde! You can't just place an order for all of us like that! I know you heard me saying I couldn't have any meat on my pizza!"
I was unaffected as I pulled apart a few bills to pay for the food. "I did hear you. A conclusion wasn't being reached, so I went ahead and placed my order. Get what you want on your bill, but those two pizzas are all mine."
Beast Boy mumbled something I took as an apology. Didn't know if it was one, but I took it that way.
After the pizza dispute was resolved, and the food actually arrived, the third degree began.
"If you guys always eat here, and it looks like you do, why don't you have the meat versus tofu debate resolved yet?" I asked while tearing into my fourth slice.
"Because Beast Boy is too stupid to allow himself to let anyone eat meat in his presence!" Cyborg argued.
"No, it's because Cyborg is too insensitive to let himself think about others feelings. I've been all the animals on that pizza!" Beast Boy contested.
"By Azar, you started them again," Raven groaned with a roll of her eyes.
"Sorry about that, didn't mean to." I smiled at her and she just returned to her book.
"So you're a teleporter, huh?" Robin was gesturing at me with a slice of his own.
"Yeah, I was born with it. I can become invisible at will as well."
"You can only lose ties with the visible spectrum when around a person named Will?" Starfire was obviously confused, but it was rather cute.
"No, he means that he can become invisible anytime he wants."
I quickly disappeared myself. "Actually, you don't," I said with an invisible smile.
Cyborg and Beast Boy burst out laughing and Starfire clapped. I even managed a smirk from Raven and the Boy Wonder.
"Oh friend Keith, that was most humorous!"
I did a small mock bow before starting on my seventh slice, receiving a giggle from Starfire and an eye roll from Raven.
"Now I'm probably not one to tell anyone about overeating," Cyborg said in my direction, "but you've downed six slices and you aren't slowing up any. Don't you think that's overdoing it?"
"No, I ordered two pizzas because I'm going to eat two pizzas," I explained. "With how much energy teleporting burns, I actually need to eat this much."
"Really?" Robin was skeptical.
"It's true. However I have trained my body to go without food when I need to, even though I don't like it."
I finished up my second pizza before any of the others finished whatever they were going to eat, and threw a couple bucks down for a tip.
And then I saw a vision of beauty walk by the window. I still don't know how any of the Titans missed her.
"As fun as you guys have been to talk to, I need to get going. If I'm ever in town again, I'll look you up."
"So you're leaving? But you were funny," Beast Boy whined. "You got Raven to crack a smile, and even my funny skills have trouble pulling that off."
"I need to get back. And as long as we stay on schedule, I'll be gone tomorrow afternoon."
Before any of the others could protest, I teleported outside and started jogging down the street.
You lied to them, the voice in my head sing-songed.
Shut up, you stupid cricket, I didn't lie to them. It was mostly the truth. I do need to get back.
Then why are you chasing after a girl instead?
Because, I don't often see a girl I like, and maybe I can invite her back with me.
Do you know what you're going to say to this girl?
No. But you know that already. You're me.
Well, I suggest working it out quickly because you are currently walking beside her, and she's giving you a nasty stare.
What! Why didn't you say so earlier?
I rather like seeing you fail.
You're an ass. And yes, I realize I just called myself an ass, but the comment still stands.
"What do you want?"
"I merely wanted to let you know that you are a vision of beauty, and more stunning than Aphrodite."
The girl with the bright pink hair down past her shoulders stopped. "So you ran after me just to tell me I'm pretty?"
Am I seeing things, or did her eyes just flash pink?
Shut up, cricket.
"No, I did not. I see many pretty girls on my job, but you are not pretty. You are absolutely, stunningly beautiful. And no, I do not say that to every girl I meet."
"Well thank you. Now if you excuse me, I must be going."
You heard her, she has to go. Now leave her alone. Uncle always taught you to stay away from girls with freaky eyes.
Since when did I ever listen to his advice about women?
…Good point. He probably isn't the best person to listen to.
"Before you run off and leave me with only a memory, please give me a name. Preferably yours."
She thought about it for a moment. "Jennifer Murphy. But you can call me Jenny."
"Well Jenny, I'm Keith, Keith Danes."
"I suppose this is the part where you ask me if you want to go get coffee."
"I thought you had to leave."
"I was on my way to go get coffee."
"Wonderful. May I join you?"
"If you buy."
We took off in the direction of whatever coffee shop Jenny wanted to go.
You know you're supposed to be at work at six, and it's five now.
That's why I'll be there at seven and I'm turning off my phone now
"So, what do you do for a living?" I asked as I downed my fourth cup of coffee.
Jenny's pink eyes shifted downward for a moment, but met mine again quickly. "I just got out of my previous line of work about two months ago. Now I'm a bartender over at Vine."
"I'm from out of town, so I don't know where that is."
"Where are you from?"
"Not really from anywhere."
Jenny merely lifted an eyebrow.
"I was born in Bludhaven, but I've lived on the road all my life. Literally, all my life."
"That's interesting. Any reason?"
"What's your fam- is that the time? Oh shit, I'll probably be late now."
"Work?" I asked, slightly amused at her reaction.
"No, pleasure. There's a concert tonight, and now I'll probably be late."
"The AFI show down at the stadium?"
"Yeah…how'd you know?"
"Lucky guess," I said with a sly smile. "Do you have the tickets on you?"
Jenny gave me an are-you-crazy look. "I'm not letting them out of my sight."
"Can I see them?" Another look. "I'm serious. I'm not going to run off with them, if that's what you're worried about."
"Oooooookaaaaaay." Jenny slowly pulled two tickets out of her pocket and handed them over with care.
I took a quick look at the seat numbers and barely stifled my laughter. "Good grief, these are the seats the nosebleed seats make fun of."
Jenny quickly snatched them back. "Don't make fun of them, I'm on a limited budget and these were the best I could afford."
"Who's going with you?"
"Baran. I've known him forever and he's like a brother to me."
"Can he find someone else to go with him?"
Jenny's eyes grew wide and dangerous. "If you're suggesting I miss the concert, you have another thing coming!"
"Keep your voice down. And I wasn't suggesting you miss the concert, I was merely asking if he could find someone else to go with him."
"Yeah, he probably can…why?"
I pulled a laminated rectangle out of my pocket. "Because you are going to be somewhere much better. If you want, that is."
"Is that what I think it is?"
"If you think it's an all access backstage pass, then yes."
Jenny was near speechless. "H-H-How d-did you manage to get one of those?"
I smiled broadly. "I'm one of the roadies for the tour."
"You're shitting me."
"I shit you not. Now call you buddy Baran and tell him to find someone else to go with. I'll take you over there and you can drop off the tickets, then we can go over to the concert."
Jenny flashed me a smile that made my day. "Let's go then! What are we waiting for?"
"For me to make sure I'm still alive. Your smile is positively breathtaking. But we do need to hurry."
"This is your ride?"
We stood in front of a large midnight blue Harley. "Yes, do you have a problem with that?" I asked as I tossed her the spare helmet.
Jenny shook her head vigorously. "Not at all. I just thought this day couldn't get any better."
Okay, this girl likes my jokes, my job, and now she loves my bike. Can she get any better?
It's a pity you're leaving tomorrow.
You love being the killjoy, don't you?
It's my job, and I'm damn good at it.
I really don't like you right now.
If it makes you feel any better, she has her arms wrapped tight around your waist.
It does. Now stop talking before you ruin any more moments.
"Baran! Baran, open up! It's Jenny!" The pink haired beauty banged on the door to Baran's apartment. At least I hoped it was Baran's apartment. If it wasn't, I wasn't going to do any explaining.
"Geez Jenny, think you were loud enough?" a person I could only assume to be Baran said as he answered the door.
Baran, as it seems, was a very large and muscular eighteen year old. He had a mane of long red hair going down his back and didn't look particularly bright. Looks can be deceiving, so I wasn't going to judge him on that. He was also wearing a pair of ripped blue jeans and a white muscle shirt with a long black trench coat.
"Here's the tickets," Jenny said, shoving the pieces of paper into his chest. She started to walk away but stopped. "Who'd you get to go with you?"
Baran broke into a broad grin. "I'm taking Nikki from the club."
"Oh God, Baran! How many times do I have to tell you, she's only uses guys to get what she wants."
"Yeah, well, I've got something she wants, and she's hot, so…"
Jenny walked away, clearly disgusted, muttering something that sounded like, "Men."
"Come on, we're going now," Jenny called from her position by the bike.
I took a leaving glance at Baran. "Have fun and good luck with your date."
I smiled. I love leaving people confused.
I pulled into the backstage area at quarter of seven where I found my uncle and my father waiting for me.
You're gonna get it, you're gonna get it, you're gonna-
How many times to I have to tell you to shut up, you stupid cricket?
I speak my mind, well, our mind, as often as I want, and you can't stop me.
"Where have you been?" my father asked me. "You were supposed to be hear forty-five minutes ago. What held you up?"
My Uncle Dan grabbed my father by the arm. "Dave! Leave the boy alone! He's got a girl with him!"
They both looked Jenny up and down thoroughly before turning back to me. "Fine, I guess I can excuse you. This time." My father gave me a meaningful look I didn't understand and punched me in the shoulder. "I'll talk with you later."
Uncle Dan grabbed me and pulled me in so Jenny couldn't hear what he was saying. "I approve. I guess being picky works for you."
"You know I hate having this conversation with you."
"Ha! But I need to talk to you later too."
"What was that about?" Jenny asked from behind me.
"Well, the comments are just the way they are. But I don't know why they want to talk to me. I'm forever coming in late because I know I'm not needed and I get bored just sitting around, so I doubt it's because I'm late."
"Well I'm sorry if I got you in trouble."
"Actually, you probably got me out of trouble. Dad and Uncle would have given me a hard time if I had just blown off work. But they are forever on my case about not flirting with girls and doing all the things a good little stagehand does. Since I brought you back, they think I'm finally doing something socially acceptable. Within the roadie world, that is."
I knew that I was saying the wrong things by the way Jenny's brow was furrowing and her eyes were a burning pink.
"Do you expect me to do anything a mindless groupie would do? Because if you do, you are sorely mistaken." Pink energy was crackling off the tips of Jenny's fingers.
"Come on, do you think I'm really that stupid? If I were, you wouldn't have been able to stand to be around me for as long as you have been. And I just said that they give me a hard time for not doing that. So I don't expect you to be normal groupie. I don't like groupies."
"Are you being serious? Or are you just saying that?" The sparking fingertips stopped, but her eyes were still glowing brightly. I was slightly scared.
"No, I'm not just saying that, because I think if I lied to you, you would rip out my eyes. As a warning."
Jenny took a few deep breaths and her optics stopped shining. "You're on probation."
"Completely understandable. And you may want to try to keep glowing eyes to a minimum in the crowd. Crowds panic easily and I don't want to have to stop a riot tonight."
"I didn't really want you to find out about that."
"Didn't want to scare me off?"
"I didn't know your stance on meta-humans. Some people tend to run from metas on principle." Jenny didn't say it with any shame in her voice; it was a statement of fact.
I smiled and vanished my forearm. "I don't see why I would have any problem with metas."
"I don't either."
I really like her smile.
You aren't the only one.
We're the same person, you dumbass cricket.
Doesn't stop me from liking her smile any less.
I really need to stop talking to myself.
You're the crazy one.
"That was an awesome show!" Jenny yelled, obviously still adjusted to the volume of the concert.
"I've seen better," I said. "But then again, I wasn't really watching the show."
Jenny took a minute to realize what I said and blushed deeply.
"Not used to people complimenting you? Because I can't see why they wouldn't."
"Okay, you need to stop lying like that."
"I'm not lying, I'm not even warping the truth, I'm stating facts."
We were almost back to my bike when my phone rang.
"What are you doing now?"
"I was about to run Jenny back to her place."
"We're good on people for the load out, so don't worry about rushing back. Me and your pop still need to talk to you, so just be back by two."
"See you at two then."
Jenny was already straddling the bike, helmet in hand. "Well?"
"We just got a few extra hours to talk instead of me having to drop you off and run."
"That sounds wonderful."
"Here we are, home sweet crappy apartment," Jenny said, gesturing around.
It was true. The apartment had an old couch with frayed cushions and a busted TV. The fridge door was cracked and the sink had six different types of grime and dirt built up. It looked like there was a hall leading down to a small bathroom and a tiny bedroom.
"It's not that bad," I said. Jenny gave me an are-you-stupid look. "Yeah, okay it is that bad, but I live on tour bus and change tours every three months or so."
"So, do you want anything to drink?" Jenny was playing an awkward host.
"What do you have?" I was playing the awkward guest.
"Not much. There's a few water bottles, orange juice, some milk," she looked inside the carton and swirled it around, "well, some chunky milk. Oh, there're a few cans of Mountain Dew back there that I was hiding from myself."
"Mountain Dew please."
Jenny tossed me a can and sat down on the couch next to me with a can of her own.
"I really did have fun at the concert tonight," Jenny said.
"Glad to hear it. I had fun too. Since I grew up around it, I'm normally bored if I'm not working. But tonight, I had good time."
"Yeah…" I sighed.
"Oh, fuck this," Jenny said, and she tackled me, crushing her mouth to mine.
I wasn't sure of what was going on for a moment and then regained my senses.
My senses were happy.
I pushed Jenny away just slightly, just enough so I could look her in the eye. "Wait a second, wait a second, I thought you weren't going to be a stereotypical groupie? You don't need to do this."
Jenny smiled a sly smile. "I'm not being a stereotypical groupie. If I were a stereotypical groupie, I would be back at the stadium with my hand down a band member's pants. But I'm here, in my apartment, trying to make out with a very sweet and charming, albeit too honorable for his own good, guy who makes me tingle in special places."
I gaped. "…………Well, um, you believe in being rather forward, don't you?"
"I'm not alone in being upfront about things. You don't really beat around the bush either."
"True, I don't, but I don't want to make you do anything you don't want to do."
Another sly smile. "Keith, you couldn't if you tried." Then she started kissing me again.
We didn't stop until almost two o' clock.
"You really have to go?" Jenny's hair was mussed and her clothes were slightly disheveled.
"Yeah, I do. I'm supposed to be back at two." Jenny gave a small pout. "If given the choice between staying here with a beautiful girl and going back and having a talk with my pop and uncle, trust me, I'd much rather be here."
"You've already seduced me, you can lay off the charm."
"Can't do that. Like you too much."
Jenny blushed and handed me a slip of paper. "This is my number. Call me if you're ever in town."
"Can I call you for coffee tomorrow? I won't be leaving till tomorrow afternoon."
"Definitely call me."
I reluctantly left her with a kiss and hopped on my bike before I could convince myself to go back inside.
I really wanted to go back inside.
Instead, I vanished myself, extended my invisibility to the motorcycle, and tore across the city towards the stadium breaking eighty miles an hour.
My uncle was waiting for my when I got back. He was stony-faced. I would have preferred if he were stoned.
It would have improved my chances of this being a good conversation.
"Hey Keith," he said. "I really need to talk to you."
Oh yeah, this was not going to be a good talk.
"What about?" I tried to remain as calm and noncommittal as possible.
"Well, I want to wait for your pop."
We stood in awkward silence for a few minutes, until my dad came out of the tour bus.
"I bet you're wondering about why we need to talk to you."
"The thought had crossed my mind."
"You know I've always wanted better for you," my dad started. "I've always wanted a better life for you. I never wanted you to have to run all across the country with me, especially not all your life."
"Come out and say it, dad." There was slight irritation in my voice.
"I want you off the tour. You're eighteen and old enough to be on your own. I want you to pack up your stuff and get off the bus."
I turned to my uncle. "And you support this?"
He sighed. "I love you man, but this life isn't the one I want for you. I love hanging with you, and I see you as a friend more than a nephew, but I want you to leave. Go get a real life, and get a normal job, with normal people. That's what you deserve, and what you need."
There was a bite of anger in my voice now. "And just how do you know that? Huh? I love doing this. You both know I love doing this. Why would you just take it away like this?"
"Look son, I don't want you to leave with you sore at us."
"Hard for me to do when you're just kicking me out with no notice," I snapped bitterly.
But my dad continued unphased, "But we need you to leave. It's for your own good. You can always call us if you need to, but only if you're completely down on your luck."
Uncle looked at me with apology in his eyes. "I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you do good for yourself."
I could feel the disgust in my eyes. "I hope you guys aren't such dicks to everyone." With a flicker of light, I was inside the tour bus, grabbing clothes and my sparse personal belongings. I put tied everything together and teleported back to my bike. I quickly lashed everything to the seat and got on.
I can't believe they did that!
I can. You should have seen the signs.
What are you talking about? There wasn't any warning.
Of course there were warnings. And you should have seen them.
What are you talking about?
Come on. They've been telling you for a while that they wanted you to get out of this lifestyle.
And I've been telling them for just as long that I love this lifestyle and don't want to get out of it.
They've been giving you a lot less work here lately. They've been letting you get away with a lot more.
They've always let me get away with stuff.
Not like this. They used to lecture you about responsibly and shit like that. Not anymore.
They finally accepted that this is the way I am.
Now you're just trying to convince yourself of what isn't true. I think that's a little funny myself, but that's probably a little weird considering we're the same person.
Good God, I'm crazier than people realize, aren't I?
At least you don't argue with yourself out loud.
That would be really bad.
Why am I still arguing with the voice in my head? I'm gonna go find an all night all you can eat buffet.
Yeah, I'm hungry too.
I pulled into the parking lot of a buffet on the outskirts of town at quarter after three. The buffet was cheap and the food was good, so I was happy with it.
I had had finished my meal and was ready to move onto dessert when the manager came over and politely asked me to leave. I politely refused.
That's when the staff threw me out.
"Dammit, I hate it when that happens," I grumbled to no one as I picked myself up off the ground.
You think you'd learn your lesson by now. You almost always get tossed out of all you can eat joints.
"Shut up, you." I looked around at the bare scenery, trying to find a place to get some dessert. There was a diner across the street. "Why not?"
Walking in, I immediately noticed a green elf in a purple and black jumpsuit.
"Beast Boy right?" I inquired as I sat down next to him.
His face immediately changed, going from somber to bright in a second. It looked like he had practiced it. "Hey, it's you! From the fight yesterday!"
"I am indeed," I chuckled.
"What are you doing here?"
I took a deep breath. "Trying to find some dessert as a way to avoid thinking about my real problems."
Beast Boy muttered something under his breath that sounded something like, "You and me both." Then he brightened. "Well, they have good pie here."
"I suppose that's your reason for being here, good pie?"
"Yeah, well…I like to come here to think sometimes." His eyes flickered downward for a moment and I decided not to pursue it.
"So let's have some pie."
The waitress brought us both a slice and we sat in silence.
"That was really cool how you brought down Rancid yesterday."
"He was tearing up your town. I could stop him, and I wouldn't feel right if I didn't."
"That's cool. But wait a second. Didn't you say you had to leave town or something like that?"
"Well…now it's definitely more along the lines of 'or something'. But that's the problem I am currently escaping with this pie, so I'd rather not talk about it."
Beast Boy's eyes shifted for a second. "Yeah, I know all about not wanting to talk about certain things."
I smiled. "So let's drown our trouble in more pie. Two more slices over here!"
I left Beast Boy at the diner at around six, cloaking my bike and myself and driving around town aimlessly.
I wonder what I'm going to do now.
Well, I suggest finding a place to live.
Maybe I don't want to stay in this town.
Now you're being childish, of course you want to stay in this town. If you didn't I wouldn't have brought it up.
So we need to find a place to live and make sure we have access to our bank account.
It's still really weird when you talk like we're two separate people.
You know as well as I that it's easier and less confusing to talk like that.
Well there goes a bank. Remember where it is.
We were making a list of the things we need to do today. We need to call Jenny for coffee.
That's true, but I was going to wait till later when normal people are up. It's still six in the morning. And after going to a concert and making out till two in the morning, I doubt she's up.
We're up and we had the same night.
Yeah, but we didn't sleep at all last night. She probably did. Therefore, she's probably still asleep. I'll call her later.
Fine. I can see I'm not going to get anywhere with you right now.
Shut up and let me be for a while. Hassle me again in a few hours.
Beast Boy landed on the roof of the tower and shed his falcon form. "Hey Robin."
Robin was there, watching the sunrise. "You're up early this morning. Where'd you go?"
"Just out to get some pie." Robin had known Beast Boy long enough and could tell by his tone of voice that he had been dwelling on Terra. He also knew that it wasn't a good idea to press it further.
"You remember Keith from yesterday?" Beast Boy asked conversationally.
"The guy who took down Rancid? Yeah, what about him?"
"I met him at the diner."
"Really? I thought he said he was leaving." Robin was curious, but he masked it well.
"Well, I know I can't read people as well as you can, but something was troubling him. He might be around town for longer than he planned."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well, he was asking me little things like where good places to eat were, what there was to do around town, stuff like that."
Robin bowed his head in thought. "That does sound like he was planning on being in town for a while. But why would he tell us different yesterday…"
The green elf put a hand on his leader's shoulder. "Snap out of it, man. Not everyone we run across is out to get us. And I talked with him for a long time over several pieces of pie, and I don't think he's a bad guy."
"You're right, Beast Boy. But still…"
Beast Boy sighed and stared Robin directly in the eye. "I know what you're thinking. The last time we had someone fall into our laps like this………it was Terra."
"Beast Boy, I didn't say…"
"I know," Beast Boy cut him off. "That's why I'm saying it for you. I know that we've been hurt before, but maybe we should give him a communicator in case he ever needs our help or something."
"………Yeah, that is a good idea," Robin sighed. "But how do you find some one who can turn invisible and teleport?""
"I don't know, you're the detective around here."