Robin was a night person. There was no doubt about that. It was during the night that the Titans were most active, since it was pretty much villains' favorite time of the day. Sure, crimes were also committed in broad daylight. However, most of them were merely small-time robberies committed by no-name burglars who didn't know any better.
It was the more serious villains who chose to strike at night. Villains like Slade and Red X, and maybe even Control Freak (who once bailed out of a fight at 10:00 p.m., insisting that he had to catch a Clash of the Planets marathon) used the darkness to their advantage. They lurked in shadows, plotting their latest scheme and putting it into action sooner or later.
Coincidentally, Robin was chasing after one of them at the moment, and the night was beginning to fade into morning. It was almost five a.m. as the dark blue sky turned to orange ever so slowly.
"Stop!" Robin yelled. Naturally, the nimble thief ignored his order and continued to sprint, as their game of cat and mouse went on.
"Don't you… Huff… Ever give up?!" Red X said, his mechanical voice raspier than usual. Robin didn't blame him for asking such a question, since their chase had been going on for around forty minutes already, a new record for the both of them.
"Not until you're behind bars!" He snarled back, and struggled to pick up his pace. He knew that the criminal was dying to teleport away and end it all, but Robin had thought ahead during their first encounter of the night.
He had immediately disabled the suit's teleporting ability with his bo-staff the moment he targeted the utility belt. The two had been running ever since.
"Jeez, kid!" Red X muttered, though Robin was still able to hear it. The scenery of the rooftops was getting really dull as they both jumped what seemed like their hundredth building.
Robin groaned, exasperated, as he realized that they weren't going to stop anytime soon. He was tired and hungry, and it was almost morning. On top of that, he also had a lot to do that day. The stress was giving him a headache.
To his surprise, the thief in front of him began to slow down. There was his chance.
"Alright, kid, I give up," Red X proclaimed tiredly as he turned around, raising his hands. One of them held the bag of jewels he had stolen.
Robin glared at him suspiciously. Red X wasn't the type to just surrender. He was most likely trying to get his guard down.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Arrest me already!"
Robin approached cautiously, one hand searching his utility belt for a pair of handcuffs. But before he could pull them out, he received a sharp blow to the head and fell to the ground painfully.
"Psyche," Red X snickered as he looked down on the other boy triumphantly, jiggling the bag of jewels for added effect. He mock-saluted him, and then went on his way, leaving Robin groaning on the rooftop. The masked Titan remained lying face down as he cursed himself for letting the criminal get away.
And then the sun rose.
"Alright, let's get this over with," Robin said grumpily, holding an ice pack to his head. The other Titans looked up, alert, and gathered around the table.
"Dude, this is gonna be so exciting," Beast Boy declared, rubbing his hands together.
"It's just a party," Came Raven's emotionless voice.
"It's not just a party! It's THE party!" The green-skinned boy leapt up from his seat. "It'll be the best party ever! Food, drinks, dancing…" He raised his fingers one by one as he counted. "…And to top it all off, an AWESOME reunion!"
"I am inclined to agree with Beast Boy. I too, am very excited," Starfire added, giggling. "I have not seen Red Star in a long time, and cannot wait any longer!"
"Why did I agree to this?" Robin moaned, holding his face in his hands. He could almost feel the stress radiating from his head.
"Hey, man, like Raven said, it's just a party. Not that hard," Cyborg shrugged beside him.
Robin looked up and merely said "That customized tank for Aqualad finished yet?", causing Cyborg to imitate his pose.
"Good point. No, it's not yet done…" The half-robot groaned.
It had been almost a year since the Titans fought the Brotherhood of Evil. A week earlier, Beast Boy had stated out of the blue that he hadn't seen Jericho in a while, leading the rest of them to also exclaim their sentiments about not seeing their fellow teenage crime fighters.
And then, the rest was history. Starfire had suggested a celebration to honor their allies, and soon after, arrangements were made. Invitations were sent. Everyone who had received them became ecstatic, putting more pressure on the main Titans into planning the 'perfect' party.
Robin pulled out a stack of papers, studying them as the other four waited for him to speak. "Well, we've received confirmations from pretty much everybody except Jericho, Herald and Pantha. We should contact them now, to know if they're coming."
"I'll take care of Jericho," Beastboy said, pulling out his communicator. Starfire and Cyborg did the same.
After a few minutes of talking, Cyborg announced Herald's affirmation, and Starfire cheerfully stated that Pantha was coming. They all waited for Beastboy, who was frowning and shaking his communicator.
"Everything okay?" Robin asked.
"Dude, either my communicator's messed up or Jericho's being really rude. I can't hear anything other than this tapping noise." Everyone stared at him.
"Beast Boy… Jericho's mute," Raven said slowly.
"Oh!" The changeling colored slightly as he let out a small laugh. "Sorry!" He said into the communicator. "I don't understand Braille…"
"It's Morse code," Raven corrected.
"Give me that…" Using her powers, the purple-haired girl brought the communicator to her own face and began conversing with mute Titan.
"You were with Jericho numerous times before, yes?" Starfire questioned, confused.
"…How come you didn't know he was mute?"
Beast Boy smiled sheepishly at Cyborg before answering. "I just thought he wasn't in the mood to talk that time," He shrugged. The rest groaned, just as Raven finished her call.
"He said yes, he's coming and that he'll be arriving five days from now," She told Robin, who promptly wrote it down.
"Hey, are we allowed to bring our own guests?" Beast Boy suddenly asked.
"Who are you planning to bring?" He turned to Cyborg and blushed.
"I was planning on inviting… Terra…" He answered quietly, receiving raised eyebrows in response.
The rest of the Titans hadn't heard from her in a long time. After the Brotherhood incident, Beast Boy had gotten obsessed with her for a period, but eventually it had died down.
Although Robin, Starfire, Raven and Cyborg never did see her in person, they decided to believe Beast Boy when he told them about her untimely return. However, after a few days, he had suddenly stopped mentioning her at all. They chose not to question him, eventually coming to the conclusion that maybe she did not want to be remembered, thus pushing her to the back of their minds.
"…Sure, why not?" Came Robin's response, and Beast Boy's eyes lit up. Unexpectedly, so did Starfire's.
"Oh, glorious! I shall contact Galfore immediately, he has always wished to visit Earth!"
"Fine, we can bring our own special guests."
"No Beast Boy, not the Pizza delivery guy. No civilians," Cyborg said, laughing, and Robin nodded in agreement.
"But he's always on time! We have to give him credit for that!"
"Give him a large tip then, we're going to order twenty boxes for the party anyway," Raven suggested. "…He's going to need it," She added quietly.
"Alright, on to individual assignments," Robin announced, shuffling through his papers. He felt weird, talking about parties to his teammates instead of the latest villain-of-the-week. He, like everyone else, was excited for the party and wanted it to be a hit. However, he was in charge of everything and therefore was carrying a heavier weight on his shoulders.
As a leader of a crime-fighting team, he was confident, for he had been trained to catch criminals since childhood.
On the other hand, being raised by Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman had its disadvantages. He had become, to put it bluntly, quite socially inept. His only experience with parties was going to formal gatherings in a tuxedo, flaunting his good manners and having his cheek pinched by women who thought he was adorable.
This was entirely different. There would be no adult supervision, no bowties or fancy clothing and no classical music playing as guests feasted on five different varieties of steak. Instead, it would be wild and spontaneous, with crazy music and teenage superheroes just wanting to have fun.
It was a difficult task, and Robin knew he would be glad when it was all over.
"Starfire, the decorations?"
"They are going well. I purchased the necessary materials yesterday," Starfire replied cheerfully.
"Good," He coughed, looking pointedly away from her as she bounced happily in her seat.
"What about the music, Raven?"
"You let Raven be in charge of the music?!" The sorceress glared at Beast Boy, who shrunk back in his seat upon seeing her reaction to his outburst.
"I'll make sure that it's better than the repetitive hip hop beats you call music."
"I like hip hop…" Robin mumbled, and Cyborg nodded solemnly in agreement.
"No offense," She told them. "Anyway, I promise I'll find something good."
"That works for me. How's the food, Beast Boy?"
"It's going to be perfect," The pointy-eared boy declared. "We've got pizza, pasta, ice cream, burgers…"
"Those better not be tofu burgers," Cyborg cut in.
"No, I made sure you got your fair share of nasty beef burgers, you heartless animal murderer…"
"It's better than your nasty old tofu! Eat something real for once, BB!"
Cyborg's reply prompted another argument between the two as Robin, Starfire and Raven sighed simultaneously at the verbal exchange going on around them. After a few minutes of arguing, Raven finally got the two to shut up by lifting their beloved Gamestation Xtreme in the air and threatening to throw it out the window.
Robin thanked her as he rubbed his temples and then returned to his list. "What about drinks?"
"Oh, it's fine, I've got, like, sixteen crates of beer in the basement…" The changeling laughed at the black-haired teen's horrified expression.
"Beast Boy, I told you, NO—"
"Alcohol, yeah, yeah… I was just kidding," He said, snickering. "You told me a million times… Why again?" A collective groan was heard.
"There's no doubt that the press will want to cover this…"
"…And I don't think you want to see a picture of yourself in the papers, covered in lasagna and thousand-island dressing," Raven added with a smirk.
"That doesn't sound like 'never speaking of it again', Raven…" The youngest Titan whined. "And besides, that was ONE time, and it's only because Cyborg told me it was tofu juice!" He said loudly, trying to drown out the half-metal Titan's cackling.
Amidst all of this, Starfire began telling Robin about how Tamaran banned their own version of alcohol ("florkzub", she called it) because a Tamaranian, under its influence, had beaten up a 'plockfurt' with a 'rorlump'.
"Anyway!" Robin abruptly yelled, silencing them all. He looked as if he wanted to slam his head onto the table. Repeatedly.
"…Cyborg, how are the rooms?"
"Everything's cool… We only have two problems: One, we need a room for the Trio. I've already got a crib for Teether but—"
"You invited the babies?!" Beast Boy looked incredulous.
"What's wrong with that?" Raven glared, her eyes glowing menacingly.
"Nothing," He answered meekly and quieted down.
"We could use Terra's room, but…" Cyborg turned to look at the changeling, who suddenly appeared distracted. "…BB, is it okay if we use Terra's room?" The other boy chewed his upper lip for a moment before answering with a quiet "Sure".
"Alright, problem one solved. Now our second problem is Aqualad's tank… It's almost done… Although why he can't just sleep in the sea is beyond me…"
"We have to make him feel comfortable and wanted. I don't think he'd appreciate it if we told him to sleep outside the Tower while everyone else is inside," Robin pointed out.
"Yeah, but Tramm's staying in the basement, and I'm sure he doesn't mind," Beast Boy commented. Everyone ignored him, and Cyborg continued.
"Anyway, it's almost done. I'm just gonna need a few more hours to complete it. When are Titans East coming, anyway?"
"¡Mas y Menos, si podemos!" A pair of voices suddenly interrupted, and the Titans felt as if a whirlwind had attacked their living room.
A red and white blur zoomed around the room, knocking down kitchen appliances and sending Robin's papers (to his chagrin) flying everywhere. However, it stopped almost as soon as it began.
Starfire blinked as she looked down and found a familiar-looking pair of twins staring up at her with star-struck expressions. They were both holding roses.
"Buenos dias, Señorita," They said simultaneously in deep voices, apparently trying to appear seductive. The two paused, then began arguing with each other about who was supposed to kiss her hand first. The orange-skinned alien merely giggled and spotted Bumblebee and Aqualad entering the room.
"Greetings, Titans East!" She said enthusiastically and waved.
"How's it going?" Bumblebee looked equally cheerful as she and Robin, the two leaders of their teams, shook hands. They had, as Beast Boy put it, 'a leader-bond'. It wasn't unusual to see them talking to each other about 'team matters', and according to the shape-shifter, they only got along because of their similarities; both were 'bossy, obsessed with work and had gravity-defying hair.'
"Hey Sparky," Bumblebee greeted, turning towards her former HIVE schoolmate.
"Yeah, hey," He said quickly, and her smile quickly turned into a frown as he walked past her and went straight to the Atlantean.
"Aqualad! Your water tank's almost done, just need to make a few adjustments," Cyborg informed him.
"Thanks. I really appreciate it, though I wouldn't have minded sleeping in the sea." Robin looked sheepish and coughed.
"Why don't you just sleep on a water-bed?" Beast Boy commented, and Raven rolled her eyes beside him.
"But, where is Speedy?" Starfire suddenly asked.
"He went to pick up Bushido in Japan," Bumblebee replied, her expression turning serious. "But before anything else, we have to tell you guys something-"
The alarm abruptly went off, preventing her from finishing her sentence.
"Trouble," Robin announced as he typed furiously on the computer. "Downtown, in a warehouse. Military equipment…"
He, accompanied by his team, raced out of the room. Cyborg, however, slowed down and turned to look at them.
"You guys coming?" Mas y Menos seized playing with Silkie at once.
Bumblebee grinned back at him, her stingers glowing with unused energy.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world."