One Hundred Titans
It's only later that she goes up to them- "I think we started off on the wrong foot, may I try again?"- and so they do the introductions again, without the fighting this time.
Starfire claimed to love many things- mustard, Silky, and for some reason sparkly glue- so why did it make him feel almost superhuman when she said she loved him?
Deep inside, where no one has ever seen it, she hides a light inside and shrouds it with blue cape and mocking words; despite all that, it hasn't once gone out.
He's very careful not to let anyone see the darkness inside him, eating away at his mind; despite all the jokes and laughter, it never goes away.
In the way they did everything, they poured all their energy into making their friendships work; there was no way they'd just sit back and let everything stagnate.
No one noticed when things shattered anymore, since there was no one left but her- when had she become so lonely?
The good guys went to heaven, and the bad guys- didn't- Cyborg started talking to Jinx about reforming just because of that, it wasn't like they were getting any younger.
When they were away, Jump City changed, but whether it was for the better or the worse no one could quite say; suddenly, they weren't needed.
"Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the-" "Sing that one more time and I'll rip your tongue out of your face and then strangle you with it!"
It's such a simple thing, breathing, so why has it suddenly become so hard- and why is everyone looking at him like that, he's fine, it's just a little blood- and then everything goes dark.
In a haze of not-quite-remembered Raven thinks she's done this before, traveled to Azarath to try and escape her father- with a jolt she realizes it's the exact same journey, only in reverse, and she hasn't really gotten anywhere yet.
Maybe it's crazy, but until the day he dies he's not going to stop- unfortunately, Beast Boy thinks, the day he dies just might be the day when Raven's holding him in her magic and screaming something demonic at him for being in her room again, didn't he learn anything last time?
The way Jinx saw it, it was either her bad luck or theirs, and she much preferred watching other people have all the trouble.
It's rare for both of them to honestly smile- not just a twitch of the lips or an overly cheesy baring of fangs- because really, considering who they were, twitching lips and bared fangs were just more in keeping with their natures, hidden as they happened to be.
There was no such thing as 'calm before the storm', Cyborg thought, but there did seem to be something like silence before all Hell broke loose.
It was metaphorical, but as Robin fought Slade, it was almost like he was spitting at everything he could have been, but wasn't.
A person couldn't survive loosing that much blood, but Raven tried to heal the civilian anyways.
Raven meditated under the open sky; what better place could there be?
Gray metal and concrete was the Jump City of the future- a future Starfire was determined not to let happen, but fate is fate and one day she looked out the window and saw only gray.
Robin looked the word up in the dictionary one time and had the uncomfortable feeling that there should have been a picture of Batman next to the entry.
She was no stranger to war, but fighting against family was a different matter, not that she let that stay her hand or slow her down- her parents were selling her, but she would not go quietly.
Mother's Day was a holiday not celebrated in Titan's tower- what was to celebrate, they didn't have mothers anymore.
Everyone seemed to hate what everyone else was eating- but secretly, they wanted to try what the other was eating… well, not Starfire's creations, but anything else would have been fair game had they been anything other then what they were.
Is it wrong to want peace or anything other then this life of fighting they lead?
He's sliding around corners and keeping close to the walls, and all Raven can think is that he's had another visit with Jinx and is feeling guilty for it.
"Glorious morning friend Robin, you must pack your bags; we are going to the Europe!"
His visit is strange from the start, since he now belongs somewhere else, and everything about Gotham City is like another culture entirely.
He keeps quiet so that the others won't hear him, but how can he hide what he feels from an empath?
It takes a few weeks for Robin to get used to the pace in the urban part of the city; they didn't really have that in Gotham…
She stands on the roof, arms outspread, mouth slightly open to catch the raindrops; "Starfire, get in here, you'll be hit by lightning!"
Like a delicate rose, Raven thinks, and watches her mother feed the doves.
Sometimes, when she just wants to get away from the stupidity of her team, Jinx walks out onto their apartment building roof and stares up at the night sky.
There is no wrath like a woman scorned, unless it's Raven and someone's snuck into her room again.
Sometimes he has the oddest urge to turn into a wolf and howl until morning; the first time that happened that he was on the team everyone decided he had lycanthropy and locked him in his room on nights with a full moon.
It took him a long time to learn to walk again- robotic legs were so different from what he was used to.
They never should have let Beast Boy watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy all in one day, but it was funny watching Slade freak out at Beast Boy's Gollum impression.
She flies up as high as she can- and considering she doesn't really need to breathe, that's very high- and then just drifts, watching the stars and wishing she could bring the others up there with her.
One day the team gathered on the mainland to stare out at an island; the tower had been traded for a more realistic home, but it was still there.
The Titans dreamed like all mortals, of what was, had been, could be, but always they woke to a reality that was like and unlike their dreams; it would have to do.
40. 4:29 PM
It's peaceful, Raven thinks, too peaceful, and she's just looking up from her book to find out what mischief the boys are up to now- better forewarned and forearmed- when what seems like an explosion hits and the boys are arguing over what to watch on TV; its 4:30 and all their favorite shows are on.
"Please friend, won't you join me in the meal of round fruit that tastes quite tangy and is a shade darker then my hand?"
Being 'still' took more patience then most people gave him credit for- so it was something of a surprise when it turned out that he, and not Robin, was the master of the stakeout- why hadn't they realized that he was a hunter as well as a human?
It was a private nightmare to think that she would move a body of stone- but then, stone didn't move (except when she willed it)- so was it so wrong to wish that she was truly dead?
44. Two Roads
When he left Gotham he had two choices, go down to Bludhaven, or try something different and visit Jump City; later, he was pleased with the choice he'd made.
45. Two Guns
"Gizmo, you know we care about you, you know we don't mind guarding your back, you know we don't care you happen to be three feet tall, but for the love of all things chocolate don't put those things on your hover ring, the Hive Five doesn't deal with guns!"
The cunning hunter narrowed its eyes and waited for the perfect moment; the next moment Beast Boy had dropped from the top of the book case onto the couch and was running away from the couch; Cyborg followed screaming "Drop the remote or else!"
Starfire dug her fingers into the ground and smiled as she began pushing the flower bulbs into the earth; no one understood why Starfire liked playing around with dirt and plants, when she knew that you could watch them grow.
Beast Boy tries to keep quiet, sitting by the shore, hunched over his knees, sobbing in a jerky, distressed way; Raven thinks he looks very young and vulnerable like that.
"Hey Rae, look, I forgot these McDonald's fries under my bed last month and they're still good!" 1
50. Breaking the Rules
Angela Roth talked to the person in red robes when she knew it was wrong, but for a place to belong, she would have done anything- anything suddenly meant being mother to a half-demon child and changing her name to Arella.
"Seriously, stankball should be an Olympic sport, right Cy?"
Robin's scream woke everyone up at five in the goddamn morning- to quote Raven- but when they found out why he was screaming, everyone was too busy laughing to yell at him- the Boy Wonder was going prematurely grey.
Jinx had decided it was her mission in life to not only make the Titan's lives living Hell, but to leave them little mementos of her visit; first, she cleaned Beast Boy's room with a few hexes- that was fun- and then she painted Raven's room pink, and then…
Trigon chose the Titan's Tower for his throne for several reasons, and alliteration was only the beginning.
Starfire needed sunlight, Cyborg needed his recharge time, Raven needed her meditation, Robin needed his martial arts, and Beast Boy needed to fly; it was all they could do, to stay sane.
It was one of the first conversations Cyborg remembered having with Beast Boy, once they were officially Titans; Beast Boy said to treat anything that came from him as a biohazard, and when asked he just stared at his shoes and shook his head; later, Cyborg learned about Sakutia.
Raven walked up to the giant, stone hand like a lamb to the slaughter; her friends were protected below so they fight like lions for the world.
58. Kick in the head
"Please, Robin, would you explain why Raven said you require a foot at a high velocity struck against your cranium?"
59. No Way Out
Beast Boy clenched his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut, struggling against hyperventilating; someone would find him, he just had to wait, it was going to be okay, he was a Titan he could handle a stuck elevator- did they make these things air tight because he couldn't breathe.
"Beast Boy, this is not a desert, and we're not in a drought, and you were banned from hair dye for just this reason, so would you quit it with being a camel already?"
61. Fairy Tale
They wanted her to tell a story, but none of her books had ever carried fairy tales, so what was she supposed to do?
"You remind me of a man, what man, oh the man with the power, what power, the power of voodoo-" "Remind me again why you gave him that CD?"
63. Do Not Disturb
When Beast Boy was flung out a window for 'feeling too loudly', the rest of the Titans decided to go see a movie, it was deemed safer.
It was a nice city, Robin thought, even as he began comparing it to Jump, and found it wanting.
"Raven, is it safe to look yet, is the flaming skull-head guy gone yet?" 2
Starfire had never seen snow before, Tamaran was too close to the sun and California- where Jump City was- was much too warm, but one day all the Titans just up and flew their plane to some place called Greenland just to play.
Cyborg told her what to get Robin for his day of birth; Starfire enlisted the help of Beast Boy and Raven; on Robin's day of birth he unwrapped the gift and stared at the drum set.
"See, Rae, Spiderman's a hero 'cause he'll give up everything just to do what's right, even when people hate him and wish he'd get squashed like, uh, like a spider, and he never has a girlfriend and even when he does she dies or breaks up with him or just vanishes, hey, are you listening to me?"
Raven clenched her teeth, she had already thrown the annoyance out the window three times today, and she was starting to think about not opening the window for try number four.
70. 67 Percent
"Dad… why'd you do this to me," Cyborg asked, staring at his metal hand.
"Guys, if you think I'M obsessed, you should see Batman, he's why January is Hell Month."
"Beast Boy, when I said that you were funny, I didn't mean I wanted to listen to seventy-two jokes about why the chicken crossed the road, what gave you the idea that I would?"
73. I. Can't.
They were millimeters apart, tasting each other's breath, when one turned away and breathed, "I'm sorry, I can't."
Raven was thrown into the mud, forced to listen to the words and the lies and that little twit who did she think she was- Rage broke free and Raven let her.
The second time Beast Boy saw Raven's mirror, it was because she was holding it out to him, "I think it's time we talked… all of us."
The first clue Jinx had, that something bad was happening to the Titans, was when they showed up without Cyborg, and suddenly, he had a lot more time for her… for them.
The phone fell from Robin's suddenly numb fingers, what were these people talking about, Bruce's last Will and Testament, that was only trotted out when someone… oh.
"Another, please," Robin hoped that someone, anyone, preferably Joker that son-ofa-bitch, jumped him before he finished drink number seven- he hoped it was Joker, he really did.
"Friend Robin, could you please explain to me the add on the TV about the two people and why it ends with a flair of trumpets and the box marked 'Trojan'?" 3
The first thing she ever said, three little words, encouraged by the monks of Azarath and especially Azar, her chant for meditation and her leash for her temper; who could have thought they'd become chains?
81. Pen and Paper
Starfire dropped a pad of paper and a pen in front of Robin; "All of us are in agreement, write to your friends of Gotham."
Raven slammed a small, white box with a red cross down on the kitchen table; "This is a first aid kit, in it there are bandages and ointments and I don't know what else, when you get injured, look here first, don't come to me whining about every little thing!"
Raven rolled her eyes and sat down beside her friend, after all, she was the team medic and there was more then one way to heal a person; "So," she asked, "do you want to talk about it?"
Jinx reached out and curved her fingers around Cyborg's, stared up into his eye, and the only thing she could think of was that his fingers were cold.
Beast Boy knew better then to scratch, even though suffering through the chicken pox was killing him; there was one bright side, though, and that was that everyone was being nice to him because of it, Raven had even (nicely!) explained what she was reading when he asked.
86. Seeing Red
Beast Boy growled, glared at the flame beings that had come to take away what was his, damn it didn't they have anything better to do; the first thing he noticed was everything was red and he welcomed the pain of shifting bone and muscles after that.
There were times when Raven ate enough meat that she would have startled Cyborg, had he known; she was half human, of course, but she was half demon too, and with her heritage came an unfortunate appetite.
Starfire curled around the ache in her gut, bit her lip until she bled, clenched her fists, all to distract herself; Raven came back from the store and gave her midol and suggested herbal tea.
89. Through the Fire
Terra had two choices, she could go through the dark tunnel to the end, or go through the fire and back to… something, she couldn't remember any more; for some reason, she chose the fire.
Raven, Beast Boy, and Terra: why was it Terra was the only one who knew what it meant, she hated being the losing side of the triangle, so she pretended not to know him.
Beast Boy insisted he wasn't afraid of the water, insisted that he wouldn't freeze up when it was important, but he never promised, how could he, when he'd already allowed the worst to happen to his parents?
Around and around and around and around, Beast Boy threw back his head and laughed as he spun in place.
Cyborg stared at himself in the mirror, disgusted; he might've had armor stronger then iron, but his heart was as vulnerable as any one's… why'd she have to laugh?
Raven ran her fingers through Beast Boy's cat-pelt, and held back a smile.
Robin takes great joy in recounting the 'first' time Bruce "Batman" Wayne met Selena "Catwoman" Kyle- the one time Cyborg got Robin drunk, the young man did impressions too- "The easy way or the hard way" and "Why Batman, how hard do you want it to get?"
Living in Titans Tower was somewhat akin to living in the center of a storm, for an empath; everyone felt a healthy range of emotion, but no one had any mental shielding.
Robin checked his gear once, twice, and finally a third time, looking for the smallest amount of wear and tear that would cause the wires, the cables, his life, to snap.
Starfire thought people of Earth were very strange, as they lied to themselves most often, but the longer she lived there, the more she thought the culture was a giant puzzle that she was slowly piecing together.
He turned away to pay attention to yellow hair and smiles, leaving the lonely girl the one thing she didn't want… space.
Ten years had passed, since the Titans were formed, ten years of sweat, toil, and blood; one by one the criminals were put away, stopped, until eventually there was nothing for the Titans any more; one day, the people of the city woke up and the Titans weren't there any more.
1. This is true. Watch the movie Supersize Me. The very end he has various McDonalds food under bell jars. For the first week or so there is. No. Change. At all. (The fries don't change ever.)
2. Have you seen Ghost Rider? I have! The Titans got an interesting visit, needless to say.
3. A common commercial that has shown up before involved condoms under the alias of Trojan-man. Remember folks, if you're going to have sex, have safe sex. That is my service announcement for the week.