"I feel vastly uncomfortable, Robin," the orange skinned alien whispered.
"It's okay, Starfire…it's just restaurant."
"I am unsure of what…to do…"
"If you have any questions, just ask me. I'm waiting for the others."
Robin looked down at his notebook, where he had noted each of the heroes.Cyborg
Powers: Cybernetic enhancements, include enhanced strength, sonic analyzer, sonic cannon, rest unknown.
Personality: Seems laid back, but somewhat bitter. Eager, confident.
Past: Accident made him a Cyborg?
Powers: Telekinesis, teleportation, flight. Suspect she has other powers as well.
Personality: Seems shy, quiet but intelligent. Showed slight impatient/sarcastic streak though.
Past? Appears to have non-human parentage, at least partly. Said if I knew what she really was, I wouldn't want her along?
Power: Shape shifting into animals
Personality: eager, wise cracking, hyperactive, insecure (?)
Past: mentioned "Doom Patrol".
Powers: Energy blasts (starbolts), enhanced strength, flight
Personality: dangerous when angered, forward, upfront, confident. But also very happy and enthusiastic.
Past: From "Tamaran" was taken into slavery by Gordanians. Has sister. K'norfka?
"What are you looking at, Robin?" Starfire asked, pronouncing the words carefully.
"Nothing," Robin said hastily, putting his notebook away. He didn't want Starfire to know that he was taking notes on everyone obsessively.
"Oh, I believe Raven has done the arriving!" Starfire exclaimed.
Robin looked over and saw a portal of black power had appeared on the floor in the middle of the restaurant. It snaked up to reveal the form of a blue-cloaked girl with violet hair. Several people screamed. Raven looked down at her feet and pulled the hood of her cloak up to cover her face in shadow. She spotted Starfire and Robin and floated toward them, wrapping the folds of her cloak tightly around her form.
"Greetings Raven!" Starfire stood up quickly, so that Robin had to grab the table to keep it from skidding across to the other side of the room.
"Hi," Robin grinned at her.
She did not smile back. "Hello."
As soon as she sat down, Beast Boy came bounding into the restaurant, looking as usual like he had drunk a gallon of coffee on his way here. His eyes lit up when he saw the three of them congregated at the table and waved his arms frantically. "DUDE!"
"Oh boy," Raven muttered.
In one leap, the short green teenager was beside them. "Robin! Raven! Starfire!"
"Grecknok, Beast Boy!" Starfire smiled at him warmly.
"Sit down," Robin offered, while Raven merely grunted a greeting, her eyes lowered.
"Dude, it's so good to see you guys again! I've just been hanging out, and I haven't seen anyone in, like, forever!"
"We met for the first time two days ago," Raven pointed out.
"And that's forever!"
Raven snorted and looked down at her pale hands.
Ten minutes later, Cyborg came running in, in another super sized raggedy sweatshirt and jeans ensemble. People glanced at his hulking form as he made his way to the table, and he pretended to ignore it.
"Sorry I'm late, yo, I got held up at work," Cyborg gasped. "Look at y'all! You look great!" He sat down next to Raven, his weight accidentally upsetting the bench like a see saw, so the telekinetic slid into him. "Oops, sorry."
"That's okay," she muttered, scooting as far away from him as possible when the seat settled down and brushing a strand of purple hair out of her face.
A waiter approached them.
"What does everyone want to eat?" Robin asked.
"Soy pizza with mushrooms," Beast Boy said automatically.
"I…wish…er, I shall have what the…Beast Boy…is having…" Starfire looked confused.
"Girl, you do not want 'soy pizza'. Get her a pepperoni supreme," Cyborg told the waiter.
"Hey! She said she'd have soy! It's better for her!" Beast Boy cried.
"I…do not know which is which…" Starfire squinted at the menu.
"Just get her a plain cheese," Robin interjected. "Raven, what do you want?"
"Oh…I don't have any money…" Raven said quietly. "I'll just…"
"It's okay, I'm buying," Robin assured her.
"I insist. Don't worry, I have plenty of money."
Raven began to protest again, but Robin shook his head at her.
"Fine," she sighed. "Slice of pizza with black olives."
"You're really payin'?" Cyborg asked. Robin nodded.
"Okay, one pepperoni supreme. Thanks, man."
"I'll have cheese too," Robin finished up for them.
When their pizza came, Robin picked up his slice with a gloved hand and said "Well, I guess you guys are wondering why I invited you here."
"Um…you thought we were hungry?" Beast Boy asked with his mouth full.
"Well, actually, I was thinking…we made a pretty good team."
"That we did," Cyborg agreed.
"So Starfire and I were talking…well, neither of us has any place to go. And I don't think you guys have a place to stay either."
"I have an apartment," Cyborg grunted. "But it gets lonely."
"Yeah. And since this city is so full of criminals, and we all are friends and have super powers, well…"
"We wish to form a team of heroes to protect the city from danger and villainy. Robin says we could build a abode to spend our days and nights in together," Starfire finished for him.
"DUDE! That would be AWESOME!" Beast Boy cried.
"Us? A team?" Cyborg squinted his eyes. "Hmmm…yeah…that could be nice. I like all y'all…we'd have a house?"
"I…don't know…" Raven muttered softly.
"Yeah, a house. We could all have our own rooms, even." Robin said.
"Man, then, I'm in! We made a great team, and it's about time someone protected the city from evil! I'll have a actual USE for all…this…" Cyborg gestured at himself.
"This is wicked! I'm totally in! C'mon, Raven, you hafta join too!" Beast Boy shook her arm. She pulled away sharply. "I…can't…"
"I told you before, I…you don't want me around."
"Why wouldn't we? You helped us out back there."
"Please, Raven, you helped rescue me from the Gordanians most valiantly. I most certainly want you around, and want you on this team," Starfire urged.
Raven shook her head, looking panicked. " I just CAN'T, okay? It's personal."
"You got something against us?"
"You're not giving us a good reason why you can't join," Robin chided.
"Look, I'm not a hero…and I'm not really a team player, okay?"
"You seemed like a "hero" and a "team player" when you saved us from the Gordanians," Robin replied. "You need to give us a good reason…"
"No, I DON'T!" Raven shouted, her hood falling off her head. Her hands began to crackle with black magic and she closed her eyes chanting "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos…"
When she opened them again, she found four teens staring at her.
"I can't join," she sighed. "I really want to, but I can't."
"But WE want you to do the joining very badly," Starfire persisted. "Please!"
"If you don't join the team, where will you go? You need a place to stay don't you?"
Raven looked uncertain at this.
"Whatever problem you have, we can deal with it. It's fine. You're our friend,' Cyborg assured her. "And we could really use your help fighting evil. You could do good!"
"Really?" Raven said, softening for the first time.
"Really," Robin assured her.
Raven was silent for several minutes, mulling it over.
"…Okay, I'll join."
"YES!" Starfire lunged at Raven from across the table, scooping her into a hug.
"GAAA! Get off me NOW!"
"I am sorry," Starfire said, letting go of Raven quickly, who was very flushed.
"Awesome!" Beast Boy exclaimed again. "Now we need a name!"
"A name, huh?" Robin squinted.
"It should have "Teen" in is, cuz we're all, like teenagers!" Beast Boy pointed out.
"Well, duh," Raven replied
"Teen, huh? I dunno," Robin mused.
"It should have double letters! I like double letters!" Cyborg exclaimed.
"Teen tuh tuh…" Beast Boy sputtered.
"How about Teen Titans?" Raven offered.
"Teen Titans?" the other four said together.
"Yeah…titans are warriors from Greek mythology, or they could be ballistic missiles, or someone with enormous strength, size or influence. All three fit a team of superheroes…and it's double letters."
Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire and Cyborg all stared at her.
She looked down at her feet. "Yeah, it does sound like the title of some hyped up action cartoon. Forget I said anything."
"No, I like the name," Robin said.
"Yeah, I was just thinking that you read too much," Beast Boy chimed in.
"I think the name would fit us very well!"
"Yeah, I like it. So, everyone in favor of Teen Titans?"
Raven looked surprised. "Uh, yeah, of course."
"Boo ya! We are the Teen Titans!" Cyborg raised his glass of soda to the heavens.
"I thought you were only going to say that once," Raven said.
They decided to build the Titans Tower on the island where the spaceship had crashed. The city had agreed to partly fund them, ecstatic that there was finally someone to keep the villains away. The rest of their money came from Robin mysterious never ending funds. Cyborg also got hold of some money somehow. With Starfire and Cyborg's super strength and fast work, Beast Boy's ability to change into large animals like packhorses, Raven's telekinesis, Cyborg's technical skill and Robin's help, plus a few construction workers, it didn't take long to build the tower. Soon, they were congregated in the living room.
"I absolutely adore our new home!" Starfire twirled around in sheer ecstasy.
"Yeah, look at that big screen TV," Beast Boy drooled.
"It turned out pretty nice," Robin agreed.
"Our first night in our new home!" Cyborg said.
"I'm going to my room," Raven announced.
"Oh, Raven, you must enjoy the home-ness of our T a little longer!"
"No thanks. I need to meditate." Raven drifted out of the room.
That night, all the Titans were in their rooms. Raven was staring sadly at her mirror.
"I will not get attached. I will not," she told her reflection. "I'll just do the superhero thing…and live here…maybe it will make up for…" She sighed. "I'll have to leave before he comes. That's all." She turned back to her reflection. "I will NOT get attached!"
Suddenly four red eyes flared in the mirror, making Raven gasp and jump back. But just as soon as they appeared they were gone, leaving Raven staring only at her own scared reflection.
Starfire enjoyed the comfort of her soft bed. After nearly a year sleeping on hard surfaces, freezing and beaten…well, it was best not to dwell on such things. She could not believe it…she had a warm place to sleep, a home…four new friends. It was more than she ever could have hoped for…she suddenly got up and approached the window, looking off into the stars. Her family was broken, but she could make a new one here…everything was so strange here…despite all her blessings, she missed her home planet.
She tried to spot it in the sky, but she could not. It was too far away.
"Goodbye, Tamaran," she said softly in her native tongue, before closing the curtains on the sky.
Cyborg looked sadly down at the cold slab that was now his bed. Sleep was no longer required. He "recharged". He straightened a crooked picture of him making a touchdown. At least he'd found…friends…a place to fit in. Even if he still felt painful and raw…like something was missing. His friends had always commented on his enthusiasm for life…how could he keep it up now that he was only half alive? He felt like a freak. But at least he was in the right place.
"Powering down," he muttered, laying back and feeling more life being sucked out of him every minute.
Robin's room was insanely neat by now, but he kept finding something to dust, something to clean. His room was clean and bright, unlike the dreary adjoining evidence room. Robin liked how things were designed to be bright and cheerful in this tower…it was the exact opposite of his old home. His veins were buzzing with adrenaline. He couldn't wait to try the team out, to catch the first villain…his brain refused to rest. He would show him…he would lead this team, and they'd clean up Jump City. He'd prove himself competent…a leader…forget him. It was in the past. He was a new person. He would make himself an identity outside "Batman's partner."
He finally sat down on his bed, being still for a moment.
"And I don't miss him," he muttered. "I don't miss him at all."
Beast Boy had been in his room five minutes and had already managed to make it a pigsty. Which was okay, since he could, you know, turn into a pig. He was so excited! A new team, so soon! With friends and people his own age, for the first time ever. AND Robin had said if the choice ever came down to saving the teams lives and letting a villain escape, the team's safety came first. "After all," Robin had said. "If we die, then the villain will never be stopped." Ha! He'd show Mento.
The room was silent.
Beast Boy hated silence.
It made him feel alone.
But he wasn't alone! He was on a team.
Beast Boy shrank back on his bunk beds.
Though, technically, right now, he was alone in his room.
Beast Boy shivered.
Dude, it was lonely being alone.