By: Shawn "The Unfunny Joke" Wheeler
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters depicted below, or any affiliations they might have.
Summary: Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean there isn't someone out to get you.
It had started a day ago during a round of regular conversation at the dinner table. April Fool's day was fast approaching and the Titans were dreading the onslaught of pranks that were sure to be pulled on them by Beast Boy.
It was true that he had become much more responsible with his practical jokes ever since his run in with Thunder and Lightning, but the start of April sparked a flame in his mind and reawakened the prankster within.
Robin started the ball rolling by asking his green friend to go easy on the jokes this year. Starfire followed suit quickly, while Cyborg employed a very different set of tactics by instead threatening bodily harm. It all fell on deaf ears however; as Beast Boy continued to talk about how ingenious his plans were going to be.
It was Raven who finally pried him from his evil thoughts.
"Yes, ingenious." She had said. "I'm sure it takes real brain power to pull such immature pranks."
Beast Boy made a face in return, offended by the insult.
"It does! A good prank takes lots of planning and hard work! Trust me; I'm the king of April Fool's."
Raven shook her head in disagreement. "I'm sure if I was motivated I could pull a prank on you with half the effort you use."
"Yeah, that'll be the day." He replied, sticking out his tongue in mock disgust.
It was at this point when Cyborg's mouth had formed a sly grin. He looked at the two and tapped at his chin with a metal finger.
"And what if she does?"
"What?" Both had asked together, making Cyborg's smile grow.
"Well… I was thinking. You're supposed to be the 'King of April Fool's', right Beast Boy? And that's in two days…" He jutted a thumb towards Raven. "So, if she manages to pull a prank on you tomorrow, then you'll promise to lay off of us the day after."
Raven's eyes had gone a little wide in slight surprise. "I don't-"
"It's a bet!" Beast Boy interrupted as he turned towards his new enemy. "I look forward to meeting you on the field of battle."
And with that he had taken his leave from the table and gone to his room to prepare.
Now, here it was, the day after the bet had been made, and Beast Boy was more than ready for anything that Raven would throw at him. He had already showered and changed clothes without any form of trouble, which was somewhat strange. First thing in the morning was prime prank time, as most people were too tired to see anything coming.
But there had been no zit cream in his toothpaste, no itching powder in his uniform, not even a beginner's knot tying his shoelaces together. He would have to stay on guard a little longer. She could strike at any minute.
Turning the corner and quickly checking the hall for any dastardly traps that might have been set during the night, Beast Boy made his way towards the kitchen for breakfast. On his way he was passed by an amused looking Cyborg.
"Dead man walking," He then put on a thoughtful expression. "I suppose the 'Green Mile' has even more meaning in your case."
The changeling stuck out his tongue at his friend in reply and continued on his walk down the tower's halls. Yeah right, like Raven would ever be able to pull one over on him when he was expecting it.
Opening the door to the main section of the tower, Beast Boy saw both Robin and Starfire adding their recently dirtied dishes to the pile in the dishwasher. Nearby, in the dining area, Raven sat with a cup of tea by her side and a book in her hands.
"Speak of the devil."
Hearing his voice, Raven lowered her tome and glanced in Beast Boy's direction, seeing the strange looks he was sending her she spoke.
"Look Beast Boy, I never agreed to any bet. I'm not going to lower myself to that level. Understand?"
He raised an eyebrow in question, not believing his friend for a second. How stupid did she think he was? Playing innocent? Ha! He invented that!
"Sure thing Raven; whatever you say."
Rolling her eyes, Raven got up from where she had been sitting and gathered her empty teacup, bringing it to the kettle for a refill.
"Robin made breakfast." She pointed to a plate. "Yours is on the table."
Beast Boy's eyes were glued to the pancakes. This had to be it! She put something in his breakfast!
"A-ha! So that's your plan, is it?" He picked up his plate with one hand while pointing at Raven with a fork in his other. "Well guess what Raven, it isn't going to work!"
Walking to the garbage, he promptly dumped the plate of food as Raven watched on in confusion.
"Beast Boy, listen to me. I didn't do anything to your breakfast. I didn't even touch it."
"She's telling the truth," Called Robin from the couch. "I'm the only one that touched your meal, and I'm not a part of your little bet."
Beast Boy narrowed his eyes a little. "Like I can really trust you? You want her to win just as much as everyone else. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some tofu eggs to make."
Robin let the conversation drop at that, and Raven simply rolled her eyes.
"You do that."
He froze, half way into the refrigerator, and turned back around. "Oh, okay. I get what your game is. You set out that plate knowing I'd toss it to be safe, so you went and laced all of my food as a safeguard."
Raven didn't reply.
"What's wrong Raven? Did my deductive reasoning silence you?"
"No, I'm just not fluent in paranoid idiot."
He crossed his arms and sent her a stern look before tossing his various forms of tofu and other vegan friendly foods into the garbage with the pancakes. "I wasn't all that hungry anyways. I can skip breakfast." He sent another glance at the refrigerator and then to Raven. "And Lunch. And Dinner. It's cool; one day won't kill me."
He continued to ramble on as he turned and left the room, ignoring the looks of confusion on the faces of those he had left behind. Once he was safely out of the kitchen he quickly dashed back towards his own bedroom. Raven was much craftier than he had originally assumed, only a true prank master would ever cut a victim off from nourishment. Yes, some planning was in order.
Opening his closet, Beast Boy began to gather everything he would need for the rest of the day.
Quite some time later the teen re-emerged, now wearing a pair of camouflage pants and matching shirt. On his head was a red bandana, and flung over his left shoulder was a backpack filled with various random (and arguably useful) things.
She was going down! Raven was going to lose!
What was that sound?
Suppressing a cry, Beast Boy quickly changed himself into a housefly and flew under the crack of his door. Above him he watched as Raven passed by carrying a sac. She paused for half a moment outside of his door and looked as if she was thinking something over. Whatever thought it had been was soon shaken from her head as she continued on.
Once sure that she was out of earshot, he morphed back. So that was it. Whatever sick plot that she was cooking up somehow involved what was in that bag. He had to get to it first, before Raven fully constructed her sinister prank.
Once again shrinking into the form of a housefly, he buzzed down the hallway in the direction that his newfound nemesis had gone. After flying around aimlessly for a few minutes he finally found her. She was knocking on Starfire's door. How odd.
The door opened and the two girls exchanged some words which Beast Boy was unable to hear. The body language was plenty though. Starfire was smiling and nodded. Of all the Titans to help in a prank, she had been the last to cross his mind.
He watched as Star motioned for Raven to enter the room while he perched on the ceiling. Raven nodded and followed her friend in, but not before putting the bag on the ground outside the door.
This was his chance!
He fell from above and changed back to himself before hitting the ground. With hand moving quicker than could be seen, Beast Boy grabbed at the sac wishing to ruin Raven's plans and ensuring his winning of the bet.
However, he was met by something unexpected inside the bag.
"What the heck?" He was very confused now. Cloaks? Leotards? How could clothing be of any use against him?
Beast Boy froze. Oh no. This wasn't good.
"I do believe those belong to me." Turning around he looked up at an unhappy Raven and a perplexed looking Starfire.
"I don't understand Raven." Starfire started while adjusting the basket of clothes in her arms. "Why does Beast Boy find your laundry so interesting?"
Raven's eyes never left him as she shook her head in response.
"I don't know, but he is very lucky that I was only washing a load of uniforms today."
He was certain that his face was a very unflattering shade of red as he handed the bag back to its owner. He muttered a quiet apology and turned quickly to leave.
"So, if the bag wasn't a part of the prank… what now?"
This thought was not received well. If Raven hadn't gotten him yet, then she must have thought up something extra special to get him with. Turning another corner Beast Boy could feel his left eye begin to twitch.
More time had passed and the day was soon to come to an end. Beast Boy was currently sitting in the corner of the living room eyes darting back and forth between all the doors and windows in the room. The crashing and flashing of thunder and lightning would have added nicely to nervous tension in his mind, but luckily he was at least blessed with good weather.
His mind was racing a mile a minute, going over all the possible things that Raven could have rigged together. Every step he took in the tower was cautious and shaking as fear that something could jump out at him washed over him at every minute. And now, back literally up against a wall; he waited for the last remaining hours of the day to go by.
This was no longer about winning a bet. This was survival.
The swish of a door opening startled the changeling into jumping a good four feet into the air. The sight of who had entered only confirmed that the dread he had felt was indeed warranted.
Standing up straight he turned to face the girl, while still surveying the area for escape routs. Of course, there were none that didn't require breaking through reinforced glass windows.
"Beast Boy?" Raven's voice seemed to have a little worry in it. A less prepared person would have been fooled. "You look horrible."
He snorted. Of course he looked bad. He hadn't eaten in over twenty four hours, and he had been running a gauntlet to avoid possible traps the entire day.
"And why are you sitting on the floor? At least sit on the couch like a normal person."
"Why?! What did you do to it?"
The shock on her face from his raised voice only lasted a moment, as it was soon replaced with a look of annoyance.
"You have got to be kidding. How many times do I have to tell you?"
Beast Boy wasn't listening. Instead he walked towards the couch. "Let me guess, the couch has glue on it?" He looked closer and saw this it didn't. "Or, if I sit on this I'll be shocked by something underneath."
He flipped the cushion to see that this was also untrue. Sweat began to bead down his forehead and his hands start to shake a little.
"Well, if that's not it then what? Huh? Did tape record me singing show tunes in the shower? Did you legally change my name to Stupid? Did you rig the floor in my room to collapse when I go to bed? What Raven? Just tell me! I can't take much more of this!"
"Beast Boy, shut up."
For the first time that day he stopped and listened to her. It was all going to be over now.
"I told you I wasn't going to do anything to you, and I didn't. There was no plan. There was no terrible plot to humiliate you. You were completely safe." She paused slightly, and Beast Boy could swear there was a hint of a smile on her face. "Besides, by doing nothing, you've done more to yourself than anyone else possibly could have."
He stayed absolutely still as the information soaked into his mind. She really hadn't done anything. Beast Boy never had to worry about any pranks at all. And yet he still managed to look like a fool on more than one occasion. The others were never going to let him live this down.
Finally tired of the silence that had suddenly hit the room, Beast Boy did the only thing he could think of. He laughed at himself.
"So? Does this mean I lose the bet?"