SO: So much grief. So. Much. Grief. Don't talk to me about a deadline. I've had one of the hardest weeks of my life. Finals. Computers. Fucking university internet nazis. Writer's Block. Internet failure. All-nighters. Tests. Papers. Extra credit.
Guyute24's fiction for the exchange.
Pairing: RaexKid Flash. Douse of Robin jealousy.
Hope you enjoy.
" Now, Robin, I'm sure you're a very good, competent leader. You have to be to have lasted this long with that Slade person out there able to kick your ass faster than even I can run..."
Robin's teeth grit in frustration and annoyance. He was right in the middle of important leader business with his Eastern counterpart, Bumblebee. He'd had to stop her mid-sentence, after his chair stopped spinning from Kid Flash's entrance, as soon as the speedy adolescent started talking. Now the heroine was waiting patiently while playing a game on her screen as Robin turned his attention to the redhead.
" Flash, " He said as the sparks stopped flying from his teeth, " When you came in here, you looked like you had something on your mind. " Robin's hand gestured to his head as his look of annoyance increased, " Is it still there? "
Kid Flash however had been engaging in flirting with the Teen Titans East leader; who was not directly deflecting his attempts. Her arms were folded as she tried not to let on just how amused she was at his attention. Robin twitched and grabbed the boy by the back of his suit. " Excuse us, Bumblebee, I'll be right back with you. "
Kid waved and smiled as the Eastern leader just shook her head and waved back. An equally annoyed Speedy and Aqualad shook their fists behind her, in the speedster's general direction.
Robin finally released him as they entered the living area of the tower. His teammates were all in front of the big screen. Cyborg and Beast Boy were on the floor immersed deeply in some game. Starfire had been given the responsibility of the player's guide. Raven, who no doubt turned down the honor of manning the player's guide, was reading her own book while sitting on the couch.
Arms folded over a red clad chest.. " Stay with me here, Kid, what did you come here for? "
The redhead blinked and rubbed at the back of his head. Robin shifted his weight to one foot and leaned against the doorway in preparation of the wait. Kid ran through his day so far, he ran across the country twice for his morning jog, he ate the Breakfast House buffet single-handedly, he zipped by the Teen Titans East headquarters, and–Oh! There it is. " I remember! "
Masked eyes rolled as a sigh was released. " Finally. What is it? " Arms were unfolded and dropped to his side. As much as he wanted to get back to work, Robin was prepared to help him if it was truly needed.
Kid nodded and smiled. But then just as quickly puffed up and poked the R on Robin's chest as he moved forward. " Where do you get off calling me 'honorary' Titan?! "
The Titans West leader was thrown at the outburst. " Excuse me? "
" You heard me. How come I have to be honorary? Why can't I be a real, full-blown official Titan? " The redhead seemed serious enough with his arms folded and a pout on his face.
Robin smacked his hand to his face and twitched in irritation. " Because you're not trained to be on a team or combine your powers with other people. "
This seemed good enough. And easily solved in the Speedster's mind. " So give me my own team. "
The look on Titans West leader's face was a mix of shock, dread, disbelief and exasperation. A second or two later, he recovered and turned to go back towards the computer. " Oh, I don't think so. "
" Hey, hey, hey, what was that? What's that mean? I heard you! " But Kid Flash wasn't giving up easily, " Explain yourself! "
Robin whirled, " First of all, I don't have to explain myself to ANYONE. Second, you're not getting your own team. You have no leadership experience. Bumblebee and I thought it would be best if you remain honorary, you're not someone who can mesh well with a whole team like ours. "
The redhead bristled. " Excuse me?! What the hell gives you the right and the mind to say that? "
As he pressed a piece of paper to the scanner of the computer and hit the fax button, Robin gave a chuckle. " Check yourself right now. This here, the way you're acting, that's exactly what's wrong with you. "
He had been about to fire a retort, but could no find one that wouldn't confirm what the Titans West leader had said. So instead he folded his arms and gestured to the screen. " How come she got her own team? Why isn't she honorary? "
The spikey-headed leader turned to regard the Eastern leader as she was looking over the fax machine to receive. Only the fax didn't go straight through. So Bumblebee kicked it and pounded on it with her fist; hard enough to send a hot electrical charge through it. The fax machine sputtered and shot out the fax immediately, to which the leader smiled politely and petted the slightly burnt machine.
A bead of sweat appeared behind Robin's head. Because I'm not brave enough to tell her that. " Bumblebee has had proper training, even before she was a Titan, she knew the appropriate things. Didn't Jinx tell you anything? "
" What's she got to do with this? "
" They were in H.I.V.E. together. Bumblebee used to be a bad girl. "
The way Robin said it, so easily like it was nothing, had Kid Flash in shock. His arms flailed as his voice rose. " You mean to tell me you got a bad guy working as a Titan?! Are you out of your mi–mmph! "
A green glove was clapped over his mouth as Bumblebee had that vicious look on her face. Both teens sweated profusely and quickly backed out of the room to the safety of the living room. The rest of the Titans didn't even look up from their activities to acknowledge their return, everyone but Raven engrossed in a cut scene. Both males breathed a sigh of relief.
The Boy Wonder jerked a hand behind him in the direction they just came. " You wanna tell her she's honorary? You go right ahead. "
" No, no. That's okay...Even I can't run that fast. " The though of the bee hybrid turning her electrical and physical rage on him scared him more than Madame Rouge did. Older women were scary. " So...I don't get my own team? Okay. But what about full status, what do I have to do for that? "
Robin gave a small sigh, not of annoyance, just the kind where he was about to lecture. And lecture he did, on the principles of working as a team, listening to team leader and the hierarchy, knowing when to retreat and how to handle it when your team was broken apart. Kid Flash stood with his full attention on him for all of ten seconds; then his mind started to wander.
The Titans West leader seemed to be very engrossed in lecturing, so he didn't think he would mind if he found something interesting to hold his attention now while waiting for Robin to finish. Blue eyes settled on the events of the living room. He tried to focus on the bright colors and rapid movements of the game on the screen, but his blue eyes kept wandering over to the lone Titan enchanted by her book.
" Hey, how come Raven's sitting by herself like that? " He interrupted Robin's speech on bravery and as such ruined the Boy Wonder's train of thought.
" What? "
" How come Raven's sitting there by herself? Why isn't she playing too? "
Robin blinked and folded his arms. " She doesn't like games. "
To this the Speedster continued to look at the empath with curiosity in his eyes. Feeling his stare, Raven glanced up from her book, caught his eye, held his stare for a few moments, then returned to her reading. Blue eyes blinked a few times, but didn't stop their watching. " What does she like? "
Robin had been observing Flash's movements since he changed the subject. He'd seen his eyes boring into Raven and it was beginning to irk him a little. First of all, he didn't like being ignored. Second, he didn't like the way he was just staring at Raven. Third, he didn't want Raven to get the wrong idea and say something that might hurt the still sensitized Kid Flash.
" Why are you asking? " His arms folded as he leaned against the doorway with his full attention on the Speedster.
But Kid Flash wasn't even paying attention, his mind already working ahead of him. " She doesn't smile much, does she? "
A shrug was his response as he regarded the Speedster. " That's just the way she is. "
" She should smile more. " Baby blues stayed on the dark-haired bookworm.
The Titans West leader shifted against the doorway to let his arms fall at his sides. " Hopefully, with her father out of the way, she will. "
" Yeah, well, " This time, Kid Flash turned to look at him for a quick second, then returned his eyes to Raven, " I'm going to do more than hope. "
When the couch she was sitting on dipped to accommodate the addition of someone else's weight, Raven looked up from her book briefly. When she saw who it was, her eyes resisted rolling to return to her book.
She was hoping he was only there to watch the others play, and would soon be entranced by the bright colors and vibrant fighting going on. But he didn't move to the floor as she predicted. He wasn't even cheering with them as she half suspected.
" ...Can I help you? " It was increasingly difficult to read something with staring at you. Even moreso when the person was right next to you.
" I was just wondering what you were..." Crap. If I say, ' What you're doing ', she's gonna hit me with that book. It looks heavy too.
Raven had similar thoughts.
If he asks me what I'm doing, I'm gonna hit him with this book.
Luckily, Kid had thought of another way to end his sentence. " ...what are you reading? "
Raven sighed, and placed a finger between the pages to hold her place as she turned to face him. " What do you want? " It would be easier to just answer his question rather than letting him ease his way to the subject as he was doing.
" I just wanted to know how come you weren't playing. They look like they're having fun. " He gestured to the screen while he spoke, hoping to avoid eye contact until he could properly think of what he truly wanted to say.
Raven glanced at the screen. " Because I have no interest in hearts or their kingdom. "
At this, Beast Boy and Cyborg whipped around. " BLASPHEMY! "
" Oh please. " Eyes rolled as Raven opened her book again to resume reading.
" Are you sure you would not wish to join us in the quest for other islands with the friends of Sora? " Starfire smiled brightly in invitation, bottle of mustard tucked safely beside her. Green eyes then turned to the newer arrival and she waved. " Would you care to join us, Kid Flash? "
" Maybe in a bit. I want to know what's going on first. Like...what's a paopu fruit? Why is it so important? "
Cyborg had been about to pipe in with the answer, when Raven's cold voice beat him to it. " It's some magical star fruit that grows on that island. Some legend says that if two people share one, their destinies become intertwined. They'll remain a part of each other's lives, no matter what. "
The Speedster blinked as he absorbed what he had just been told. That, and that Raven had actually said it. Not to mention just what kind of legend it was. " How is it you know about that? "
Deciding to ignore that tone directed at her interests and incompatibility of the subject with those interests. " Because those two bothered the hell out of me until I went to go look it up to make sure the damn fruit wasn't real. Which it wasn't." A hot glare bore into the backs of both males until they melted on the carpet in shame and reformed.
" Hey, you never know. It could be growing in some forest somewhere. Or on another planet. " Cyborg at least had the decency to look sheepish.
" As if it's existence could get any of you a date. "
All three stiffened, Starfire in the middle of sucking mustard, then huffed. They didn't need to be reminded of their single status.
With them effectively silenced, Raven turned her attention to the Speedster next to her; who seemed thoroughly amused by the whole thing. " Speaking of dates, why aren't you out somewhere with yours? "
" Huh? " Flash blinked, then smiled, " Oh, you mean Jinx. Yeah, well, that didn't work out too well. "
Pulling her finger from her book to resume reading, Raven quipped." Oh? Whatever could have happened? She asks, not really wanting to know. "
If Kid Flash heard her, he didn't acknowledge her statement." It all started, or rather, ended when she wanted to meet me in the warehouse district. You know, where we started? Well..."
It seemed strange to want to meet at the warehouse district. Usually they went places together. And the message she had left for him, it was intriguing to say the least. Jinx had sounded so amused, and excited about whatever it was that was supposed to happen there. Maybe it was some anniversary thing.
But all that awaited him was a very mischievous looking Jinx standing idle in the middle of a house belonging to a auto parts store chain. When he simply saw her standing there, he came to a stop and walked inside. " Hey Jinxy, what's up? Why're we meetin' here instead of some place to eat. You know running near water makes me thirsty. "
The grin did not leave Jinx's face as he spoke and advanced. " Don't worry, you won't be thirsty very much longer. "
" Really? Then we really are going somewhere to eat? " Blue eyes perked at the thought of food and drink.
Jinx shrugged. " You could say that. I brought here for something very important though. You see...There's a problem. "
Those same perked blue eyes blinked. " Hm? What's wrong? "
" We are! " A hot flash of pink energy smacked Kid Flash right in the face. " You see, I've been thinking. You know, being a hero is all well and good. But there's certain things that just won't compare to being bad. "
A shocked Speedster could only blink in confusion as she spoke and advanced. Hot pink energy bounced in her hand as her grin never wavered. Thankfully, he had enough sense to move out of the way before he was hit a second time. The energy burnt through the bottom a stack of boxes behind him; causing the whole thing to come crashing down. Again, he dashed out of the way as heavy tires bounced and rolled in every direction.
Wide-eyed, Flash could only hope the words of a prank would come from her mouth. But they didn't. Her grin seemed cemented in place as her eyes began their pink glow. " Jinxy, what's wrong with you? Why are you doing this? "
" Will you shut up and sit still? I'm trying to tell you! " These words were said as she kicked one of the tires in his direction. Again, he dodged, but the rubber bounced off the wall behind him to crash into his back. " Saving people all the time is a thankless job. Especially when people get themselves in bad situations themselves. Then expect you to save them. Then of course, there's the bad guy. It's like I don't understand why they're doing it. Who wouldn't like a little money? I used to like that, celebrating back at the H.I.V.E. with Gizmo and Mammoth. We were the best team you know. But the thing I missed most of all, is right there on your face. That look of confusion, fear and desperate belief that this isn't happening. Sorry, sweetie, it's happening. "
Another hard blast, and Kid Flash was sent flying into the bouncing rubber mess. Laying idle for a few moments, he focused on the pain, then opened his eyes. Nope. It wasn't a dream. Well, it was at least a surprise. But now he needed to get out of there in case her dearly missed back up of Gizmo and Mammoth decided to show up.
" And you know the best part? I've got you to thank for this. You know, you were right. I don't have to be bad. I can choose to be good. And I did. Now I know what it's like. And evil is so much better. Bad guys have more fun. They don't hold back and they don't care who gets hurt! I wanna thank you for giving me a choice, Kid, and now that I've made it, I don't need you! "
Radial blasts in all directions sent Kid in a high speed zig-zag dash. Well, he couldn't say that he didn't exactly see this coming. There were a few times Jinx seemed a bit reckless when they were supposed to be protecting people and stopping the bad guy. She was slinging bad luck around and trying to hurt the bad guy as much as possible.
Pausing just outside the door, he turned back. " Well I'd like to thank you for a lovely evening, but...I'mafraidI'mgoingtohavetocallitanightearlyG'BYE! "
" And that's what happened. "
Raven shifted and put her book down again. " Are you alright? "
Pleasantly surprised and more than a little reassured, the Speedster gave a half smile and a thumbs up. " I'm okay. That's the kind of risk you take when you hook up with someone like her. Besides, I get the feeling she wasn't completely over the last guy she fell for. "
At this, Cyborg dropped his controller and dashed into the halls. " PlayformeBBIgottamakeaphonecall! "
The remaining Titans collectively blinked, then slowly resumed their previous activities. " Well that wasn't obvious. " Raven rolled her eyes and picked her book back up.
" Yeah. So you never answered me, what are you reading? "
" A book. "
Slightly deflated but not defeated, the Kid perked. " Is it good? "
" No, I'm just a masochist. "
Sweatdrop now firmly in place, the Speedster sighed and flopped against the couch. " First Jinx, then Bumblebee, now you. What do I keep doing that makes women hate me? "
Closing her book in defeat, Raven turned to face him. " I don't hate you. Bumblebee doesn't hate you, she just doesn't like to be flirted with in amusement. Now Jinx, she hates you. "
" Heh, you're probably right. " Yet the words didn't dim his smile. " Hey, if I run to go get something...will you still be here? On the couch, I mean. "
Raven paused in her reading, then shrugged. Maybe she'd get to hear some badmouthing about Jinx out of it. That was always worth it. " Sure. "
" Great!" With a small gust and a white cloud, the Speedster was gone.
It only took a few minutes for him to make the trek across the Northern Pacific Ocean. It was a good thing he left when he did. If the sun had moved from where it was, he would have lost his trajectory and probably ended up in Australia. Ordinarily, he wouldn't have minded, but he didn't want to keep Raven waiting.
Once he hit land, a small break was required. It had been a long time since he had authentic sushi anyway.
Chopsticks clinked as he observed the feast before him.
" ITADAKIMASU! "
Several waitresses and two chefs had to hold onto the walls and doorways as his speed eating created a small wind. As he finished off the ginger and last piece of sushi, the Speedster stood and bowed. " Totemo oishikatta deshita! Goshisosama deshita! "
Now happily full, the Speedster turned his attention to his original task. First off, he decided to look around in the forests. Twenty minutes of doing that proved fruitless. Literally. But then, he had to remember, it was a different season over here. That meant he needed to check the markets and grocery. But they did not hold his coveted item either. Beginning to lose hope in his plan, the redhead leaned against a lightpost and sighed.
" Now what am I going to do? " Hands delved into red locks as he sulked. But just when he was about to start whining at the sky, a small hand was held in front of him; three small yellow star-shaped objects immediately catching his attention.
" No way." Blue eyes blinked to make sure the small yellow bits didn't disappear. The hand they sat in belonged to a small Japanese child. Shifting his position to sit on his knees, he dared to hope, " Kore wa Paopu desu ka? "
A smile was his answer as she further offered the small bits to him." Hai! Paopu furuto desu! "
Cautiously, he lifted one from her palm. Immediately, he recognized it for what it was. His plan wasn't doomed after all! " Sumimasen, Paopu wa doko kara kimashita ka? "
The child tilted her head to the side in thought, and the redhead felt despair start to grow. But she smiled again and pointed across the street. " Asoko de! "
" Well, I'll be. Heh. Arigatou gozaimasu. " Gentle hair ruffling got him a few giggles and a small, ' Iie ', before he made his way into the destination.
By the time he had returned to the tower, most of the Titan crew had gone. Starfire, Beast Boy and Cyborg had run off to the gaming store for emergency memory cards. Robin was on his way to the Titans East tower with a bunch of data discs and some paperwork.
Raven however, was right where she said she'd be. Sitting on the couch and reading quietly. With the entrance of the hyper aura that was Kid Flash, she placed her finger between the pages. " Welcome back. "
The redhead paused before her with his arms behind his back. " Thanks. Where is everyone? "
" The three Keybladers went to get a memory card. Since the one they planned on using was filled up. They declined my offer to erase everything. Robin went to the Titans East headquarters. He tried to get me to go with him, but all he would be doing was working. He promised to take some time off so we could hang out on the east side of the country, but you know him. He couldn't even if he wanted to. "
" Heh...Wow. I can't believe you really stayed. " One hand lifted to rub at the back of his neck.
The empath shrugged. " You asked me to. Plus I was reading in peace. It wasn't that big of a sacrifi... "
Before she could finish her sentence, Kid Flash had thrust his hands out. Inside were two handfuls of small, yellow, gummy Paopu fruits. Raven could only blink and stare at the candy before her. Slowly, she reached to take one; squeezing it between her fingers to gauge the gumminess. " You brought me Paopu fruit? "
" Yeah, " His eyes averted as he shrugged, " Jinx wouldn't let me be part of her destiny. Maybe I can be part of yours? If you'll have me that is. "
For the first time that day, a small smile spread over Raven's lips, and she popped the candy in her mouth. " Intertwined in my destiny, huh? Well, it can't be too terrible. I hope you know what you're getting into. "
" Hey, super speed isn't just for running away you know. " His form plopped on the couch next to hers. " So..."
" Eragon. It's called Eragon. " She finished.
Blue eyes could only stare blankly." Never heard of it. "
" If you'll stay this time, I'll read it to you. " The finger that had been holding in place, was removed to flip back to the beginning.
Genuine smile now fully in place, the Speedster popped a piece of candy in his mouth. " Deal. "