DISCLAIMER: I don't own Teen Titans in any form it's had. I did however twist it around to my liking.
Welcome to Jericho: The Story. Just kidding, it involves the other characters. Here's the skinny. It's about a year after the series finale, including the movie which I didn't really watch. There are some changes such as Terra's on the team since she was one of my favorite characters for the longest time. Also Robin and Starfire are together as a couple, sorry, but it seemed like it had to be done. Beast Boy has a crush on Terra... what else is new. Jericho has sort of just joined the team and this is about his experiences as they go along.
Currently there's no set person that Jericho will end up with. The rating may go up and down from M to T depending on what I decide to do with him. They don't know that his Slade's son, that's coming eventually. Oh yeah and he's mute, duh. I thought Jericho could use some love since he was only in two episodes, lame. I used to adore Teen Titans but my fandom slowly died when I hit my Sophomore Year of high school. This is my last love given to that show that I adored for a couple of years.
On another note, to everyone who reads "Blame it on Bad Luck", this does not mean it will be on hiatus. That will be updated soon, and this story is my little side project.
Now, enjoy. :D!
Chapter One: Strange Occurrences
Strange how life can lead people to the most unexpected places with people who they thought they would never get along with. The people you would expect to make you extremely uncomfortable or even despise you with every fabric of their being end up being the people you live with. It was uncommon for people living on a mountain top to somehow end up living in luxury. Or in a letter for that matter, of course it was always uncommon for ordinary people to live in letters. Of course, Jericho wasn't an ordinary human and the people he lived with shared the same characteristic of lacking normality.
A bunch of misfits were taking refuge in a giant "T".
They earned their residence there. When screams echoed throughout the city due to even more strange occurrences like monsters or super villains, they sprung into action to save the day. The word 'hero' was an understatement compared to what they saw on a daily basis. One little word couldn't convey how much they put on the line for the oddly named city. Only a team of superheroes who lived in a giant "T" could call a place named Jump City their home.
Now it was Jericho's home, due to a strange merging of random events. Everyone there called him Jericho but he would still always answer to his full name, Joseph William Wilson or Joey for short. To many their names didn't mean much but in Joey's case his name carried a weight that would forever be on his shoulders. It was a miracle that his new team didn't know it. There would be too much conflict.
"Jericho, breakfast," an indifferent voice announced through the metal door.
There was no need for him answer, not like he could. At this point he should have been used to the little twists life can throw at a person. He considered the accident when he became mute to be one of those little twists. Yet another incident where his name carried such a troublesome burden on this his shoulders.
Setting down his acoustic guitar gently all he had to do was walk in front of the metal door before it whooshed open. The halls were quiet, dark, and still foreign to him. An inner voice still told him he didn't belong here. When did his powers come in handy? It was only a matter of time before they found out, and then everything would change. Knowing their team leader it wouldn't take too long. The files on the other teammates or allies were extensive, carefully documenting every minuscule fact about someone's life. Currently Jericho's was empty.
His footsteps echoed throughout the barren hallway, timidly taking in all of the sights and sounds before entering the vast room where everyone was located. It had only been a few days since they asked him to move in. Apparently the mountains in Tibet was a hike they didn't want him to endure again. If he had gotten there once he was quite confident he could do it again, but he knew deep down they wanted him as a spare for their team.
Laughter was echoing as he neared the door and it opened revealing a brightly lit main room. His eyes immediately looked to the huge windows surrounding what was the living room area. The aroma of pancakes was pungent. A huge stack was plopped right in the middle of the booth-like dining room table. Everyone was already there and staring at him when he made his entrance.
A blush came across his face as he waved at them all sheepishly.
"Hey! Check me out!" A fork twanged being pushed against the table making little bits of soy pancakes airborne. They landed safely in the mouth of his half-human, half-machine teammate who was now chewing happily.
An intimidating outer-appearance frightened many from talking to Cyborg. To Joey's knowledge there had been some sort of accident when he was younger that led him to his current state. Even if he didn't look it, he was the typical teenage boy who enjoyed girls, football, video games, and buffing up his car. When Jericho first encountered his robotic teammate the immense strength he possessed was stunning. A simple pat on the back knocked him to the floor and left him feeling the carpet on his chin for days to come.
An overjoyed snicker came from the green boy seated next to Cyborg then he held out a plate towards a pale, mauve-eyed girl seated across from him. "Come on, Raven. They're filled with soy goodness!"
Pointy ears were the first thing Joey had ever noticed about Beast Boy. Well that's a lie; it was his odd shade of green skin followed by his equally odd sense of humor. No matter what the mood was, this guy was always cracking jokes even if no one laughed or wanted to hear them. Every team needed comic relief and that's what he provided.
On the opposite side of personality traits stood the girl he was offering the soy pancakes to; Raven. Mysteries, weird, dark, indifferent, quiet, and intelligent were all the adjectives that came to mind in describing her. Deep down he knew that when you gained her trust then you were in, but that was a very hard thing to gain. Her opinions of people seemed impossible to sway especially after an incident with a certain blond girl. So far she was the only person who could communicate with him. The fact she could pry into your mind in a matter of seconds to read your thoughts, memories, emotions, and secrets was unnerving. So far she hadn't abused that power around him, only using her mind reading abilities to convey what he wanted to say with the others.
"Tea," she simply answered clutching the small, white teacup with her delicate fingers.
Typical response from the very secretive member of the group, it was what Jericho had grown used to in his few days of staying here. Stepping on her toes was something he was trying to avoid or she could spill everything that was concealed in the back of his mind. Remaining neutral was his strategy.
Another fork twanged. More pancakes became airborne but were landing in a different mouth, this time belonging to a female with long, straight blond hair. "See? I can so totally top that, Cy."
The certain blond girl that made Raven's trust even more difficult to gain now was chewing happily on soy pancakes; Terra. If there was one person who would destroy him for his name and family members, it would be her. The girl was now currently on probation after her betrayal of the team to gain more control over her wayward, geocentric powers. In the end she did realize she wasn't meant to be on the other side of the law and used herself as a sacrifice. To his knowledge when Raven had defeated her father everything that was stone turned to flesh, including their fallen friend. Her memories didn't officially return for a couple of months, instead she lived as a normal person going to a fancy school with uniforms The uniform was officially ditched for her midriff outfit when everything she had done slammed back into her mind.
"Do you wish to partake in the flinging of false pancakes, Robin?" Awkward English, but a huge grin on her orange-tinted face, with bright green eyes only for the leader of their team ,who looked slightly bored with the morning antics, that was Starfire.
Joey had met Beast Boy first, but with the way Starfire acted around people you would think it was her who swooped down and removed him from the mountain. Her hugs were about as soft as when Cyborg patted you on the back. If you wanted a stone cold definition of someone who didn't know their own strength it would be her. The most welcoming was her but she could also drive you nuts. There was still a lot for her to learn about earthly conduct even though her overly friendly ways were a breath of fresh air compared to the usually happy people you could waltz into on the streets. For an alien she was drop dead gorgeous but if you tried anything funny there would be a starbolt to answer to.
Finally the person who made him the most uncomfortable spoke. "No thanks, Star."
A masked face stared up at Joey and he was sure his face was not only red but looking extremely uncomfortable. No words were spoken instead the leader's face nodded towards the empty spot in the booth next to him. All he could do was nod, even if he could speak in this sort of situation he would probably end up without words. His feet began moving without a thought to protest, keeping his large green eyes glued to the floor. Everyone was paused watching him closely as he sat down next to their masked leader.
A plate filled to the brim with soy pancakes was plopped down in front of him catching him completely off guard. It felt like his heart was skipping beats, his eyes were probably wide in shock staring blankly at the plate trying to register what had happened, and on top of that he jumped six feet in the air. Well that's what he got for spacing out plus paying too much attention to the person sitting next to him.
Robin. Their leader. The one person who if his name was uttered would pin Joey against the wall with a knife prepared to slit his throat. No funny business. At this point in time he shouldn't still be worried or nervous around this guy. Digging up dirt on his past was like looking for the first bit of plant life that ever sprung from this earth. Even if he seemed introverted, Jericho made it quite impossible to uncover his tracks. Still there was no doubt in his mind that this boy couldn't find it even if it seemed impossible. Obsessive, neurotic, determined, serious, whatever words that were strung together to describe him in the end, he was still intimidating. After all the betrayal and harm his teammates had undergone in the past he made sure it didn't repeat itself. Exactly what made Jericho sweat bullets around him.
Right now he was confident that Robin did not fully trust him.
Everyone around him continued to enjoy their breakfast while chatting away, fully enjoying themselves. Joey looked down at the pancakes pretending to be immersed in the weird mix of ingredients plopped in front of him. Maybe poking it with a fork would better help him understand what exactly a soy pancake consisted of. Bad idea, now there was pancake attatched to his fork. It was better not to draw attention to himself and eat the stupid pancake. This was a new experience that he should embrace to its fullest potential with arms open. The fork moved slowly into Joey's mouth. A sour look crossed his face.
"This tastes awful," he thought swallowing the soft lump of pancake. A tingling remained on his tongue. There was still a full plate of pancake that stood in front of him. It's not like he could just leave it there that would be a waste, and he couldn't pipe up to say how awful it was. That would be a little rude. Oh man, how could these people stomach this? He couldn't live like this. How could anyone live like this?
His green eyes searched the table to see everyone eating happily. Well everyone except for Raven who was sipping her tea. Mauve eyes shot open to meet his. Quickly he looked away not before seeing the black-magic woman raising a curious eyebrow at him. A look like that meant she could be rummaging through his mind any second, quickly his mind went blank to deflect her. Still he looked around the table with a blank expression. Mustard as covering Starfire's plate, typical alien. Beast Boy was the vegan who was wolfing them down like a starving dog, Cyborg was sneaking bacon from a napkin concealed on his lap, Terra just seemed happy being fed, while finally Robin ate without any complaint.
A sigh escaped him. At this moment he wished he had a way to cope with these strange food choices. At this rate, it seemed like they always were eating soy pancakes so he might as well get used to it. He reluctantly shoveled another forkful into his mouth when something new caught his attention.
"Perhaps it is time that I learn to speak with hands."
Everyone looked up, and stopped talking, giving their full attention to Starfire. All, but Terra, looked a little skeptical and taken completely off guard by the statement. Jericho was still munching on his pancakes while giving his full attention to the alien-girl. What was the harm in her learning sign language? It didn't seem like too much of a big deal to him.
"Erm…" Robin sounded uneasy which was foreign to Joey's ears. "Doesn't that involved mouth-to-mouth contact, Star?"
A mouthful of soy pancakes ejected from Joey's mouth all over the table at those words. Mouth-to-mouth contact? Everyone was staring at him again, he felt himself melting into his seat. He was getting smaller feeling the heat rise to his face.
"Yes, but it is not good to have only one person being able to communicate with our friend, Jericho." Now Starfire was smiling brightly at Jericho who was still shrinking in his seat next to their leader who was emanating hate rays. "On my planet, a simple meeting of the mouths is an easy way to exchange all types of languages, even it does mean more here."
Robin was sending Starfire an awful look for bringing such a subject up. Immediately she seemed to key onto what her boyfriend was getting at. Her throat cleared giving everyone the table a quick glance, "There shall be no feelings attatched."
A lump was forming in Joey's already dry throat. The only other person in the room who seemed to be as oblivious as him was Terra whose eyes were glued on the two squabbling teammates across from her. Raven seemed to be the only person who was calm among everyone with her delicate, pale fingers still wrapped around the white teacup now against her lips. Her eyes were closed but he knew entirely well she was aware of the situation around her. For a moment he was entranced in the way this girl was moving, everything around her seemed to calm and detached from all emotion. It was making him curious to get into that very secluded mind of hers. In his presence she had only spoken a couple of times, rarely involving full sentences. Most of her time seemed to be spent in her room that no one was allowed to go into. Everytime she wasn't around he was forced to communicate only using a notepad and a lime-green pen Starfire had given him one day.
Raised voices snapped him back into reality.
"Robin! Perhaps our team would be better off with another person who could communicate in a way our mute comrade can comprehend," Starfire's voice was pleading with their leader, trying to reason with him and keep him at ease.
Boy, for someone who seemed completely arrogant so self-assured all the time, Robin sure did get very self conscious when it involved Starfire. The other team members still remained silent during the feud. Joey wasn't even sure it was a feud since the only person's voice that was raised was Robin's. No matter how loud and harsh Robin's voice became, Starfire's seemed calm and relaxed. That either meant one of two things. One, she hardly ever got mad or two, that you really shouldn't mess with her once she did lose her temper.
A defeated sigh sounded next to Joey. The battle had been won by Starfire.
Now what was supposed to happen? An awkward silence fell over the seven as Jericho's eyes curiously fluttered around the room. Tension was building in the air, and he didn't know what to expect next. Perhaps he was supposed to brace himself for the unexpected. A green flash whizzed by him. His eyes widened in surprise to see an empty seat that only a few seconds ago housed his overly bouncy teammate. Something grabbed him by the collar lifting him out of his seat. His feet were kicking slightly desperately trying to find where the ground was. His eyes were closed tightly when he realized there probably wasn't any ground for him to stand on. Sheepishly he opened them only to see Starfire's face, looking serious, staring down at him. Being held up by his collar wasn't something he was enjoying. Why couldn't she do this on the ground?
The girl leaned forward, pursing her lips towards his. How many times had this girl down this before? She seemed like a seasoned veteran coming towards him feeling nothing at all. Usually he probably wouldn't mind being kissed by an extremely beautiful girl, but he had a feeling he was already on thin ice with their leader and kissing his girlfriend would probably only make the matter worse.
Oh man, it was his first kiss.
Come to think of it… that's pretty sad since he's seventeen.
Maybe he should've kissed sooner…
What if Starfire was a good kisser and he wasn't? Now his hormones and nerves were raging. If his face was red before, he didn't want to know how red it was now. Everything felt like slow motion and he slammed his eyes shut finally feeling hers pressed against his. His eyes shot open looking around the room frantically. "Is that mustard I taste?" Even with lips closed he could taste a savory hint of mustard. It wasn't as glamorous, the room wasn't spinning, and instead he felt like he was a dead man.. His feet had stopped kicking and floated in mid-air, limp and lifeless.
Finally after what felt like hours, though in reality it was only fifteen seconds, her lips broke away from his and she dropped him to the floor. Too bad the floor was very high up from where they were. The room was now spinning and Jericho was lying only two inches away from the booth were he was sitting earlier. Her aim was bad and his eyes were clenched shut with pain running throughout his frail body.
With his head still throbbing he opened his eyes to a pair of huge blue eyes. Long, blond hair was all around him. The look on Terra's face was odd like she didn't know whether to help him up or poke him.
"Are you okay, Dude," she asked sitting up slightly then adjusting her goggles prominently displayed on her forehead.
No, he was not okay. In fact he was resisting the urge to writhe around in pain on the floor in front of everyone. But he couldn't give that answer so instead he nodded with a weak smile. This wasn't fun; he couldn't live life like this for much longer.
Joey stood up abruptly only to find everyone staring at him with an eager look on their faces especially Starfire and minus Robin who looked like he had a stick up his ass. Now what did they want from him? Terra stood up then bouncing in front of him grinning from ear to ear.
"So? Sign something! C'mon! We all wanna know if it worked. Duh!" Her attitude was a little overbearing like if he didn't comply with her demands then it would be worse then kicking a puppy.
Ever since he became mute, it was difficult to find people who could sign. Now he had a chance to finally have a conversation with someone, without being in someone else's body or through his mind, and he didn't even have anything to say. Once again the blush was returning and Beast Boy bounded up next to Terra with adoring eyes then looking at him.
"We're waiting!" The pointy-eared boy yelled into his ear making Jericho cringe like there was no tomorrow.
At first Beast Boy didn't even realize he was mute and now that he did, he constantly confused it with being deaf. Everytime he talked it was yelling in one of his ears. At this rate, he was going to be deaf. Jericho chewed on his lip for a moment now noticing Raven looking a little interested. Even if her face was blank he could tell she wanted to know if the little lip lock worked.
"I need more picks for my guitar." He signed swiftly and quickly in Starfire's direction.
From the look on her face he could tell she was taking in what he had just said then translating it into her own language. Then her hands moved as at ease as his did signing back with, "I shall inform Cyborg."
"Jericho wishes to be escorted to the city so he may purchase some of picks of the guitar."
Everyone perked up feeling a sense of relief that it had worked. Right now he was feeling more and more like a burden. His powers were restricted and he couldn't even engage in everyday conversation without someone having to translate for him. Actually he would miss having Raven tap into his mind and speaking for him. Usually he felt so distant from the team members and for those brief moments he felt like he belonged. Sometimes he would even have little conversations with the dark girl in crowded rooms. Now he had Starfire.
"Well, I'm glad that all worked out." Robin stood up leaving an empty plate in front of him.
There was tension and it grew worse when the masked boy grabbed Starfire by the upper-arm protectively giving Joey a warning glare. Joey stiffened up watching self-consciously as Robin led the girl out of the room without a word. This didn't seem to bother anyone like it was a common occurrence since they returned from Tokyo. Then there were five.
"Hey, BB. I totally can kick your butt at Mega-Space Monkeys Melee." With that Terra whisked a very compliant Beast Boy away to the couch.
Now there were three.
Out of the corner of his eye, Joey could see Raven standing up and Cyborg was doing the same. Now what was going to happen? Knowing what has happened over the past couple of days; they would go off and do their own thing while he would be stuck alone. His eyes shut for a moment as he let out a sigh. Even with all that excitement earlier nothing had changed. Maybe he had gotten his hopes up.
A hand was now on his shoulder, his eyes shot open to see his half-metal teammate, "Come on, man. I'll take ya to the city. You wanna come, Rae?"
A small smile spread across Joey's face as he nodded in agreement. Now there was the matter of Raven coming. Part of him wanted her to come along for the ride even if Cyborg would probably be dropping him off in the city then drive off in the quest to find auto-parts.
"Only if you'll drop me off at the library," she replied in her normally raspy voice with the same indifferent expression.
The car ride was not as he imagined. There was silence followed by an argument about the radio station. Jericho sat quietly in the back seat watching the two polar opposites debate whether they should listen to hip-hop over NPR. Not like it mattered since they would be in the actual city in less than three minutes. Eventually it was Raven who won when she threatened she would blow up Cyborg's precious car if she didn't get her daily dose of culture over the sexist lyrics of some overly obscene rapper. It felt like full on war within a small, enclosed space. If only he could've dug himself a small trench.
The driver was pouting as they listened to someone with a thick British accent give out their opinion on a South African musician. Raven stared directly out of the window at the buildings drifting by in a blur. Through the rearview mirror, Joey studied the girl now with her hood on. No wonder she was so pale, that stupid cloak shielded her from the sun's rays. Maybe she had a deathly fear of getting sunburned or something. The girl's eyes narrowed as if she could sense that he was thinking about her. A feeling shot through his head like something was pushing through his mind.
"Stop that," he thought instantly looking towards the mats on the car floor.
The girl's mauve eyes were still narrowed when she simply stated, "Jericho wants to get out here."
What?! Was this payback for just staring at her? Well he sure learned his lesson now.
"Really? Well… okay." The sad thing was Cyborg was actually doing what she was saying, that crazy witch. The car came to a slow stop and the door popped open. "We'll pick you up here in two hours, kay?"
There was no way he was getting out of this car; he began to shake his head in disagreement when he felt something enter his mind again. This was madness his limbs were now moving by themselves as he exited the car. A forced smile came to his face while he involuntarily waved good-bye, closing the door behind him. The T-car jetted away leaving Joey high and dry. Great now he was standing far away from where he needed to be in a foreign city.
Memo to self, don't stare at crazy, pale chick or she will possess you.
Now he had two hours to prance around a strange, new city in hopes of finding guitar picks. This wasn't his day.
End Chapter One. At first I was going to add more to this chapter but then decided against it feeling that what I was going to add would be better suited in Chapter Two.
So yeah, please read & review. It's good to hear feedback on whether I'm wasting my time or not. Thanks to everyone who does read and review. You are awesome :D!