Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans. I only like to borrow them for a little while and return them a little worse for wear.
"Don't call me 'sir'" Robin said once more in a pained voice. Who the heck was this funny little green guy with the silly mask? And why did he have to get in the way when Robin was trying to deal with a demented alien female that was trashing the city? A side-glance showed him that the funny little green guy was eyeing him with glowing adoration. Wonderful, Robin thought wryly. He just got here and had a fan club already. Of course, the kid had been helpful when he'd shape changed just then to help out. But still.
All Robin really wanted was a nice quiet evening to get to know his new city. Taking the step to work alone hadn't been an easy choice, and he was still working out some things in his mind. So far, he'd barely had time to take a breath, let alone think about this major move he'd made. This city was really in need of someone to look after it. The crooks were having a field day. And now there was this…. maniac girl.
What was going on in this city tonight? Robin wondered, a short time later. He'd still been after the alien girl when this really big guy showed up, caught a bus, literally, and complained about her trashing his city. He seemed to be an uncommonly strong guy. But there was something different about him. Robin caught sight of shiny metal through gaps in his clothing. What was this? Super-hero wannabe night in the city? Now he had managed to collect this guy as well as the adoring little green guy, who seemed to have a unique repertoire of animals, living and extinct, he could turn into.
And to add to what he was already thinking, after nearly getting zapped into a million pieces by strange energy blasts from alien girl, Robin saw yet another strange thing. After running into a barrier that appeared from nowhere, dark shadows merged into the slim form of a darkly clad girl with big violet eyes. Her voice was quiet and low as she suggested maybe everyone blasting at the alien girl wasn't the solution. Well, Robin felt a little wary, she started it, he thought. But he held back a moment and gave the suggestion a chance. Okay, maybe alien girl was scared. She did have those monster hand/arm cuffs on. He glanced at his unwanted companions. The green guy still had adoration written all over his face. The big dude stood there like a mountain. The girl from the shadows watched him with somber eyes.
"Fine" Robin decided. "Stand down." He ordered. The big guy seemed a little miffed, but he accepted Robin's call. The little guy, well, he was still green.
The response was not what he expected. She was scared, and tired. He could tell, as he got closer to her. When the green fire left her eyes, they were still green, but a beautiful shade, Robin found himself noticing, and gave himself a mental rap for doing so. And when she realized what he was doing, he felt her anger fading. She let him unlock the cuffs. Robin didn't really know what sort of response to expect. The one he got was nowhere on the list of possibilities he might have considered.
She kissed him.
Not just a peck on the cheek, a chaste little gesture of thanks. No, this was a full and complete lip-lock that took a few minutes to complete. During which, his brain took a detour into a numb sort of shock, and why am I not resisting this, land, which prevented him from detaching. Which he would have done, of course, if he hadn't been frozen like that. She was the one who stepped back. His brain was still playing catch up or she wouldn't have caught him off guard enough to shove him away like that, nor would his reflexes have been so lax as to let him fall on his ass like that. But they were and he did. And with only a few words, recognizable English words to the meaning of don't follow me, she flew off into the night.
Robin decided it was time to go home and think about this. He bid the others good night, and with a little more effort, shook off the little green guy who was trying to make a night of it. Robin knew he really had to give this evening some thought. Then again, just who and what was that alien girl? Maybe he needed to find that out first. The big guy and the girl with the dark energy guessed right, he definitely was going to try to find her before he did anything else.
"You're Robin! Sir!" Beast Boy stared with delight at the recognizable figure in front of him. His personal favorite of the renowned super heroes of the time, because Robin was closest to his own age. He'd been really depressed and lonely up until now. After all, what could he do? He wasn't on a team anymore and it was doubtful he could manage a do it on your own hero thing. But now, to be on the street with the famous Robin was enough to make him tingle with excitement. A reaction he needed to control because if he got too excited it might react somewhat like sneezing did and reduce him to involuntary popping in and out of an assortment of creatures, which tended to ruin his image of crime fighter, and make him seem more like a carnival show freak. What he needed to do was to show Robin just how helpful he could be.
Robin's lack of enthusiasm didn't really bother Beast Boy. He tagged along anyway. The alien girl was way awesome. Pretty, too, even if she did seem to have a very destructive temper. Beast Boy took every chance he could to impress Robin with his variety of changes. Then a big guy joined up. A really super strong big guy. This was getting to be even cooler. Now he was really starting to be glad he was on his own. Maybe these guys….
Whoa, creepy but pretty girl in black. She used dark energy too. Oh man, this was the best night ever. Beast Boy was in his glory. He watched when Robin approached the destructive alien babe, and undid the handcuff things. What a guy. Then, he had to control a burst of pure envy as he saw the flame haired siren grab the boy wonder and lay a very long intense kiss on him. Beast Boys eyebrows arched as high as they could go. Dude, why didn't they get a room? But then she broke off, and gave Robin a mighty powerful shove, and flew off. Beast Boy let out a breath. Now what?
To his dismay, Robin said a curt good-bye to all and started to leave. Beast Boy jumped in and tried to tag along with him. Unfortunately, Robin didn't seem quite as impressed by him as he was by Robin. So Beast Boy found himself standing in the street watching his hero walk away. No sidekick, not now anyway. Okay, plan B. Beast Boy suggested pizza to the two remaining. But the dark energy girl said no and faded off. Then he launched himself after the big guy. After all he had been trying to help too. So he might be good to hang with. Anybody who can catch a bus was way cool.
The big guy could walk, fast, so Beast Boy scurried to keep up. For some reason his attention was starting to get the big guy pissed off. He threw back his hood, and Beast Boy stared, and then felt adoration sweep through him once more. . Dang, look at that guy. How cool could he be? Before he could get angrier, Beast Boy jumped up and told him just how awesome he was. How could he not like being so very high tech? It was totally out of sight. He'd never met a Cyborg before. And to his total delight, the big guy called him "dude". Beast Boy was a happy shape changer.
Anger, fury, fear, panic, the emotions boiled in the air around her, and Raven didn't know what to do. She had to squelch any reaction to those powerful feelings. They were coming all from one section of town, and it didn't take much to figure out that it was the same section that all the noise and explosive flashes were coming from. Besides that bunch of powerful emotions, Raven was feeling the combined distress of all of the innocents caught in the middle of this exhibition. Knowing it was a foolish thing to do, but urged by something stronger than caution, Raven moved towards the destruction.
A battle was going on, but it was wrong, somehow. Raven stared at the combatants. A slim but enraged young girl and a boy about her age. The girl could fly, which more or less meant she wasn't from around here, Raven thought dryly. Now the boy, something about him was familiar, and she was pretty sure she would be able to guess who he was in a minute. No special powers there, just years of training and skill. Pretty even match so far. But what were they fighting about? Raven watched from the shadows. She closed her eyes to feel.
Of course, she thought. The girl was from another world. She was afraid, very afraid, and panicking. She wasn't being destructive because she wanted to hurt anyone. She was trying to get free of those restraints. She was running from someone, something. Raven hesitated. She shouldn't get involved. People didn't like her; she scared them away with her darkness. But, this girl might hurt someone, and she wouldn't mean to. No one understood what was wrong with her but Raven. She had to try. Robin and the others were getting ready to charge at the exhausted but desperate alien. Somebody was going to get hurt. Raven took a breath and spread her dark energy into a wall to stop them. The shadow of a Raven filled the street as they stared.
"Maybe fighting isn't the answer," Raven appeared to them, stepping from the darkness.
To her relief, after a moment of resistance, the boy seemed to catch her meaning. He called the others off and approached the girl. It was the right thing to do. The restraints were off, the girl was free. Her way of expressing gratitude was rather unique, especially followed by a shove and a threat. But, she still had a lot of negative emotions swirling around her from the fighting. Raven relaxed, until the comical looking little guy in the funny mask asked her to go for pizza. That was far more interaction than she was willing to go for tonight. She declined. Time to go back into the shadows where she belonged.
Just another lonely night on the town, Cyborg thought as he walked along. He tried to ignore the groups of people he could see and hear, groups of people enjoying each other's company. Something he couldn't do, and hadn't been able to for a long time. Just hanging out for pizza with a group of friends was a distant memory for him. Now, he just stayed in the background, trying not to be noticed so he wouldn't have to hear how different he was from everyone else.
It was the noise and screams that brought him out of his depressing thoughts. What the heck was going on? Those were definitely explosions. Unable to ignore the noise, he followed it to its source. Now what, he thought with astonishment, was that bit of a girl doing? And whoa, was she powerful. She also wasn't a local, that was for sure. And taking her on, yep, no doubt, that was Robin. He'd recognize him anywhere. But why he was here on his own was an interesting question.
All right, then, power-girl, stop wrecking my neighborhood, Cyborg caught the bus the chick tossed, and then charged into the fray to help Robin. There was this funny little green guy trying to help out too, and it didn't take long for Cyborg to realize the kid could change shape into just about anything he wanted to, except they were all green. Didn't matter, they were strong. For a little dude, he was pretty useful.
Things weren't going real well. This chick was a tough one. Cyborg was all ready to take it to the next level with Robin and the little guy when this really strange wall stopped them, and out of the shadowy figure of a giant black bird, a girl appeared. Cyborg wondered just what she was doing and who the heck did she think she was. They'd been doing the fighting here, and she'd just shown up. Why should they listen to what she said? But he was startled, and irritated when shorty, er, Robin ordered them to "stand down." Just on her opinion.
"Who put you in charge?" Cyborg asked, prickled by the assumption the spiky-haired former sidekick was leader of this team that really wasn't a team.
Well, turned out the darkly unusual girl had been right. When Robin approached the clearly exhausted alien girl and made the gesture to free her of the restraints, she let him. And showed unexpected gratitude, to Cyborg's surprise. He had an urge to clamp his hands over the little green guys' eyes for a minute. Hey, ya'll, this is family hour out here on the street. Well, that was clearly unexpected. Then off she flew with no explanation or anything. Oh well, he thought as he turned to walk away. Robin was heading off to see what that kiss had implied, he was sure. It had been kind of distracting for a while. Be honest, he told himself, you were starting to enjoy yourself back there. But now it's over.
His mood quickly turned back to the dark one he had been in before the diversion. He barely heard the little guy trying to attach to someone until he realized that he was the only one left. This little guy just didn't know when to quit, so Cyborg tossed back his hood and let him have it, spouting out the bitter things he'd kept in his mind as he'd watched the normal folk enjoying their evening. Monster and freak, that was him. Okay little dude, scared now? Still want to be friends?
"Cyborg, cool. You're like Robo man 2.0!" the shape changer gushed, his big eyes glazed with awestruck wonder.
Okay, where were the disgust, the pity, the misguided sympathy and trite words of comfort? This weird little dude thought he was cool? Now, that was a totally new reaction. Cyborg felt his bad mood begin to lift. After all, how could you stay totally depressed when a guy who could be anything thought you were cool and wanted to play video games with you? Besides, Cyborg might be half machine, but this dude was green!
"Do not follow me unless you wish to be destroyed."
Starfire flew off into the darkness, her words ringing with a bravado she really didn't feel. She was exhausted, she was hungry, her whole body hurt and she was so drained of energy she wasn't sure how far she could fly. She needed food and quickly. All of the energy she'd spent had weakened her. And she was so afraid. So alone.
She found food. Strange, exotic food. And she ate, and ate and ate. Until they came, the ones she had fought before. But, also the one who had freed her from the restraint. She faced them, ready for combat. But rather than attack her, they began to talk, and to ask questions. To her unexpected surprise, they seemed to believe what she said, and they were telling her not to worry, that they would help her. How strange. How totally unheard of. They did not know her. Why should they care? They were not weak, she had seen them fight. They were not afraid. What sort of planet was this that had such people on it?
She found her strength renewed as her new allies stood beside her, fought with her. Never had she felt such a sense of belonging. It was startling the power one found fighting as part of a team. Without speaking, they seemed to find the right places to be. If one was in trouble another would defend them. When the evil ones threatened to destroy the whole city because they had helped her, did they turn on her? No, they did not. There were a few angry words. It surprised her that most of them were hers, because they were now in trouble for helping her. Yet, it didn't matter. The one called Robin pulled them out of their individual little spats and directed them to the matter at hand. Which was defeating the enemy and saving the city. How wise he was for one so young, and how brave. He was rather cute too, which she hadn't missed when she had taken the language from him.
But then, yes, she must now join them to save this city, as they joined together to save her. Perhaps, if they won this battle, they would give her permission to stay on this world where people could be nice without being weak. Where stranger's helped one another and cared. Perhaps. Then she would finally have a place to stay, a place to feel safe. Dare she believe they would let her?
Together, as a team, they won against the aliens. The city was safe.
Beast Boy had known from the minute he'd been let go from his former team that he couldn't make it on his own. He needed other people. He wasn't the loner type. He'd been lonely and sad until he'd happened on Robin and Starfire. And now, he'd found a video game buddy in Cyborg who he worshipped. He'd found someone who'd actually said he was kind of funny, and who was pretty cool herself in an odd gothic, dark sort of way. He got to work with his hero Robin, and he got to know his first real alien up close and personal. And even better, he wasn't just a sidekick, he was part of a team! Good times.
Cyborg felt overwhelmed. It had been a long time since anyone had accepted him without reservations or discomfort. But with these guys, he felt right at home. Hey, he and Robin had hit it off so quickly he'd been almost speechless. Robin had made him feel like some sort of technical whiz right off the bat, asking him to make up those contact devises for the others. And now, he realized that none of them cared that he was half machine. In fact, Beast Boy relished the fact. It was nearly hero worship. The little green dude followed him everywhere. And the girls, Raven was so matter of fact about it, and Starfire didn't care. None of them seemed to notice the metal at all. Maybe now, maybe finally, he'd found his place in the world. Maybe he'd discovered who he really was.
Raven couldn't believe that she'd actually been invited to be a part of this team. Robin had held out his hand first, inviting her along, telling her that he knew all he needed to know about her, stopping her from her self depreciating words, accepting her at her face value as someone he found worthy. When she would have retreated into the shadows to hide from being a hero, he had called her to stay. And Cyborg had dispelled her other doubts by his easy manner and simple words, "he's green and I'm half metal," making her realize that in this team, everyone was unique in his or her way, and that even her dark energy could be used for good things. Friends? Yes, she had called them that, she remembered. In that moment on the alien ship when they had been in jeopardy, she had felt her power surge in protectiveness. It had felt…wonderful. It was good not to be alone anymore.
Starfire looked at each of the others. They had risked their lives to save her, a stranger, even though she had first tried to hurt them. Yet somehow, they had fought to understand that behind her anger was fear. That she was in trouble. They had come together as strangers, and had included her. And when the battle was done, they were friends as well as a team. She was honored that they had accepted her as one of them. And she was so very happy that she could call this planet of Earth, home.
Robin had wanted to be on his own for a while. Solo. With just himself to answer to. But now it seemed he had somehow inherited a team. It was a team of young heroes around his own age. It was a team of young people with their own problems and issues to deal with. Yet, it was a team of talent and courage and skill, unusual gifts and powers to learn about and stretch. And he was starting to feel excited about leading this team of young titans. His lips twitched into a grin. Yeah, Teen Titans. As Beast Boy would say, "Cool."