"Joe Pesci is an actor who you pray to when you want someone beaten with a baseball bat," Xander explained, having heard George Carlin's comedy routine on religion.
"Dude, you're a cleric of Joe Pesci too?" Beast Boy asked, making Control Freak laugh.
"No, I just happen to carry a magical baseball bat," Xander said. "Coincidences happen."
"Speaking of which," Control Freak said, "how did you get here? You're portion of the air waves is a long way from here."
"How can you tell?" Xander asked curiously.
"When it comes to the Slayer section, you're one of the main cast," Control Freak said. "The only time you aren't guarding the Hellmouth with your friends or fighting demons is when you… took a summer off to do a road trip."
"Yup, I'm on my summer road trip," Xander said. "I'm guessing I'm a book series here like Sirius is?"
Control Freak looked around. "Sirius Black?"
Sirius waved cheerfully, before turning, vanishing dead spiders, and casting repairo charms on the street.
"It's Xander Harris, of course he doesn't do anything by halves," Control Freak said, shaking his head. "Still you two would make an excellent buddy cop show."
"Dud, you are still mondo weird," Beast Boy said.
"And you got your tint control fixed," Control Freak said, seeing that Beast Boy was no longer green and looked completely normal.
"Sirius fixed me," Beast Boy replied.
"I am confused," Starfire said.
"You aren't the only one," Raven remarked.
"For the sake of your legs I'll explain," Control Freak told Raven, glancing down at her legs and waggling his eyebrows.
"Dude you are like five years older than her," Beast Boy complained.
"And she's like a decade more mature than I am," Control Freak fired back. "Do you want some answers or not?"
"I do," Raven said quickly.
"Ok then," Control Freak said. "Now think of reality as a collection of thoughts. Thoughts that are alike tend to cluster together and form… fictions. Everyone with me so far?"
"So, Warp Trek is real somewhere?" Beast Boy asked hopefully.
"Everything is real somewhere," Control Freak explained. "Xander Harris and Sirius Black are from two separate stories and this reality is yet another and the guy we tossed back into his own reality is from yet a fourth. I have no idea how they got here-"
"We drove," Sirius interrupted, having finished fixing everything.
"Sounds like something that would happen to Xander," Control Freak said. "How did you end up with him?"
"He picked me up in the middle of the desert where I landed after falling through the Veil of Death," Sirius explained.
"Yeah, major crisis points in a fiction's timeline are weak points where the story can change and a character can move from one story to the next," Control Freak explained.
"Then every book would be a portal to another world, powered by the reader's belief in them," Raven argued.
Control Freak grinned. "And for some of us, that is true."
What about alternate realities and split timelines?" Robin asked.
"Canon is the main line with the most belief providing stability, the rest are branches with a bit less substance, most barely more than shadows, call them fanfiction."
"This is too deep for me," Cyborg said, "I think I'm going to go have some lunch and numb my brain with cartoons."
"Ditto," Beast Boy said.
"I think I will join you," Starfire said.
"Yeah, is a bit too deep," Robin agreed. *
"I'm still listening," Raven said as the last of the Titans left.
"That's really all there is of it," Control Freak said.
"So, by accepting that reality is a dream it allows you to do what you do?" Raven guessed.
"Exactly," Control Freak said, surprised she got it.
"And that's why you refuse to take anything seriously," she realized. "Well, except for that spider guy. Why did you take this seriously?"
"Our reality is created by the mind of a sleeping god," Control Freak explained. "There is a mirrored reality maintained by his brother. If they wake up and notice each other, it's game over for everyone, so it's best to keep them as separate as possible."
"So, you are capable of taking things seriously," she said.
Xander put his hand over Sirius's mouth as he listened to them intently. Noting Xander's concentration, Sirius decided to be quiet.
"If I need to," Control Freak admitted.
"You could do a lot of good in the world with your power," she said.
"If the dreams get too dull, the gods will awaken." Control Freak said with a shrug. "I provide a little chaos and amusement to help lull them into a deeper sleep, while removing incidents that would make them notice each other. I don't think I can do anything more important than that."
"Now my head is begging to hurt and I'm reminded of how every mage that tried to tap into the Dream, which fits your explanation, has gone mad," Raven said, rubbing her temples. Xander stepped behind her and massaged her shoulders, causing her to let out a relieved sigh.
"Any idea how you could help us find our way home?" Sirius asked hopefully.
"Not really," Control Freak replied. "I could get you to a world like yours, but probably not actually yours even if you'd never be able to tell."
"I think I'll pass on that," Sirius decided.
"Suit yourself," Control Freak said cheerfully. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a movie to catch."
"Feel any better?" Xander asked Raven after Control Freak had left.
"A little," she said. "I think I could use one of your hugs right about now."
Xander picker her up in a bridal carry. "Wanna watch a movie filled with cheesy one liners and an unbelievable plot?"
"Yes, I think turning off my brain for a little while is just what the doctor ordered," she agreed, laying her head on his shoulder.
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show?" Sirius asked as he spotted the marquee.
"Perfect," Xander said. "We'll need you to transfigure us some objects and items and we'll be set!"
SEVERAL HOURS LATER
"...Let's do the time warp again!"
The Titans turned from their show to see Sirius dressed in blue hospital scrubs over female lingerie, Xander dressed in black socks, brown loafers, white briefs and a white T-shirt, while Raven was wearing a white shift and pumps, singing in chorus as they danced through the living room.
"Are we sure she is not having 'The Sex'?" Starfire asked in the silence that followed.
"Did talking to Control Freak drive them insane?" Beast Boy asked in concern.
"I didn't even know the Rocky Horror Picture Show was playing in town!" Cyborg said. At the others' confused looks, he shook his head. "Guys, please tell me you're not cast virgins."
"No one has ever penetrated my... cast," Starfire said, blushing a deeper orange. "That would be a medical fetish, yes?"
"One eww, and two I have no idea what you're talking about," Beast Boy said.
"I think Batgirl called me that once," Robin said, "after she got back from some party in a glittering version of Zatanna's outfit."
"She was probably dressed as Columbia," Cyborg said, "Which would work for Star, Beast Boy can dress as Brad, I'll take Rocky, which leaves Robin as Dr. Frankenfurter!"
"What are you talking about?" Robin asked.
"I'm talking about one of the greatest movie going experiences in history," Cyborg said. "Everyone has to dress up and we'll need some things…"
Four red eyes snapped open. Something was amiss.
He could feel the Key he'd seeded on Earth being enveloped in positive emotions. This should not be possible. The portion of his power he had granted it should have kept it from forming the bonds necessary to feel such things, forcing the key to keep iron-clad control on its emotions lest it destroy everything around it.
If the Key broke free it would take him decades more to make another, that was intolerable.
Trigon reached out to his minions on Earth. He had a job for them. **
Raven awoke slowly, feeling comfortably lazy. She yawned and stretched before noticing something.
Lifting the covers, she checked.
Yes, it was unmistakable, she'd had a wet dream. It was her first wet dream since she was thirteen and, she looked around her room, nothing had been destroyed or set on fire.
For a moment she was concerned that her powers had vanished, half worried half hopeful, because if her powers were no more, she probably couldn't be used as the Key to let Trigon into this dimension, but with a thought, she floated out of bed and bundled up her sheets, stuffing them into the laundry hamper.
Something has changed, but she wasn't sure what.
Her fingers gently stroked the metal fastened, leather armband she'd made with Xander. It helped a little, allowing her a fraction more control, but this change was a magnitude larger than the armband could account for.
"Maybe another demon killed him?" she wondered aloud, before dismissing the thought out of hand. Trigon was too powerful and too well defended to be gotten rid of that easily and from her demonic studies, she'd learned that even if all his rivals went to war with him, it would take millennia for a winner to be decided.
Changing into a bathrobe, she decided she'd have to meditate on the matter later and see what, if any, changes she could find.
The familiar morning ritual of letting the hot water wash away any remnants of sleep soothed her.
The door to the bathroom opened and she was soon joined by another.
"Good morning, friend Raven!" Starfire said cheerfully, giving her a hug. "Isn't it a joyous morning?"
Raven had grown used to Starfire's lack of boundaries and gave her a brief squeeze before turning the orange skinned alien around so she could help her with her hair. "It is," Raven agreed as she reached for the shampoo.
"Really?" Starfire asked surprised, as Raven began to massage her scalp.
"I slept and had a nice dream, though I can't recall what it was about," Raven said.
"That is good to hear," Starfire said. "After you had returned from that marvelous, though strange, show Cyborg called us all virgins and made us go as well. Fortunately, there was no medical penetrations involved."
"That's...good," Raven offered, deciding not to try and figure out what Star was talking about.
"There was not even any normal penetration. Sadly, Robin does not seem to be picking up the hints." Starfire fell silent as Raven rinsed the shampoo out of her hair.
Raven turned around and let Starfire work on her own hair, even though she didn't need the help, since Starfire would pout all day otherwise. "Some human males are more dense than others about such things and some require a closer relationship, lasting some time before truly thinking about The Sex." She smiled and closed her eyes as Starfire massaged her scalp.
"Perhaps I should be more forceful," Starfire said thoughtfully.
"Some men do like that," Raven agreed, before Starfire started washing the shampoo from her hair.
"I still have the shackles from when I was a slave," Starfire said thoughtfully.
"I would suggest working your way up to that," Raven said. "That's more of a… already in a relationship thing."
"Thank you," Starfire said, giving Raven another hug. "You have been most helpful, even when the topic makes you uncomfortable."
"I am not nearly as expressive as you are, but you are my friend," Raven told her. "I'm always here for you when you need help."
Xander stoked the coals, making sure they were ready. Sweat was already beading on his skin and they hadn't even started yet.
Raven had stripped down to a black bikini top and loin cloth, having come prepared for the heat this time. She quickly raised her eyes as he straightened up. She hadn't meditated yet to find out what her dream had been about, but she was relatively certain she knew who had been in it.
"Yesterday I showed you how to make a pretty decent blood alloy and enchant some hide to make a simple control band," Xander said. "You'll notice we only used a third of the metal for that."
"Today we add pubic hair," Xander said cheerfully. "It only takes a small amount to enhance the resulting item ten-fold."
"Slight problem with that," Raven said quietly, blushing.
"You shave?" Xander guessed.
"No," Raven said, actually twiddling her thumbs.
"You can grow there, right?" Xander asked courteously, not wanting to offend her.
"They got burned off," Raven admitted.
"Wet dream?" Xander guessed, recalling the earlier discussion.
"No! Will you-," Raven closed her eyes. "Let me explain, it'll be less embarrassing. Starfire need help washing her hair, so we shower together."
"Reasonable," Xander assured her.
"We had a moment where I let her know that even if I wasn't all that expressive, I was her friend and would always be there for her," Raven said.
Xander swept her up in a hug, quickly setting her down as he realized what he'd done.
"And that happened, but with more fire," Raven said, turning away to hide her shy smile.
"Sometimes friends need to hear things like that," he said, thinking of his friends at home.
"Thankfully we were under a shower," Raven said, "so the only casualty was a little hair."
"Not a problem, I have a rune set for that," Xander said.
"To regrow pubic hair?" Raven asked in disbelief.
"Partially," Xander said. "I know runes of shadow and silver that help with appearance issues and part of that is growing pubic hair just where you want and how you want."
"Does this include underarms and legs?" she asked hopefully.
"It does," Xander replied.
"I could kiss you," Raven said happily.
"Hello!" Beast Boy said loudly, rushing into the room. "I just thought I'd stop by and see how the voodoo was going."
"Pretty good," Xander said cheerfully, amused at his obvious jealousy.
"Oh hey," he said as he noticed how little they were wearing and the oppressive heat. "You guys need fire aprons. I know right where they are." He dug into a locker and took out two white aprons that he made them put on, so they weren't so...unclothed.
"They feel like cloth, look like plastic and reflect heat surprisingly well," Xander said in surprise. "What are they made out of?"
"These are nice," Raven said, amazed at how cool the side facing her was, it was cooler than the air in the room.
Beast Boy was surprised at their response. 'Maybe I misheard things?' "Um, no problem," he said, "just thinking of safety."
"Can I get Starfire?" Raven asked. "Being Tamaranean she goes through a lot of razors."
"Sure," Xander replied. "It takes longer to decide the hairstyle you want than to inscribe the runes."
"I'll be right back," Raven said before vanishing through the floor.
"An old rune cluster used for disguises a long time ago but works really well at taking care of grooming needs today," Xander explained.
"Oh," Beast Boy said, realizing why Raven had reacted like that and feeling like smacking himself in the head. "I gotta go... do something."
Raven and Starfire rushed into the room, almost bowling Beast Boy over as he left.
"You can make it so I don't have to shave so many places?" Starfire said excitedly.
"It's good for a minimum five years and I'm already teaching Raven the entire rune set, so she'll be able to do it herself in the future," Xander said, happy that they were so excited over the subject. Strangely enough Buffy and Willow had never been interested.
"What must we do?" Starfire said excitedly.
"Let's start with the visible areas," Xander said, taking out a small silver rod. "While you can do everything in one go, it's best to do things step by step while teaching. So, Star we will start with legs."
Star floated up so her legs were level with his head.
Xander laughed. "I need to inscribe your shadow so stand in front of a light source please."
Raven grabbed her notebook and pen as Xander circled Starfire's legs, examining them intently before kneeling next to her shadow.
"You want to avoid having your own shadow cross with theirs while doing this, so always make sure to have a stable light source and stay at least half a foot away," Xander said. "Now I have examined the area and have a clear picture in my head, so I channel my will down this silver rod and into her shadow, picturing the result while inscribing the rune, like so."
Silver light followed the tip of the rod as it moved, breaking up into droplets that glowed like stars, falling into the darkness of Starfire's shadow.
"Now check your legs," Xander said.
"They are so smooth!" Starfire said in wonder as she and Raven felt them.
"Originally, this rune cluster was used as a means of disguise, but the amount of magic need for any major changes made it fall out of use. I realized that just using free floating mana I could avoiding having to shave and used it," Xander said. "It's a bit harder to get the right visualization with a mirror, but still doable."
"This can be done for all the hair?" Starfire asked, just to be sure.
"All of it," Xander agreed. "Raven will be able to change the styles for you as it lets you grow hair as well as remove it."
"This is wonderful," Starfire exclaimed beaming. "You do not have the nudity taboos, do you? Because I have one or two areas I would like hair removed from that are normally hidden from sight,"
"I believe I can handle seeing those areas once to help you out," Xander said, amused.
Raven and Starfire walked down the hall, both looking very pleased as they went to lunch.
"Friend Raven, why did he grow you so much hair and have you cut it before he wrote in your shadow?"
"My hair can be used as an additional ingredient to strengthen my control," Raven explained. "We collected a lot now, so we don't need to go through this again later."
"Oh, I thought maybe it was an excuse to see you without the cloth of loin in the way again," the orange skinned alien replied.
Raven blushed. "No, though being male, he no doubt enjoyed the close-up," she said with a smile.
"You are much more expressive lately," Starfire said, "It brings me great joy to see."
"The more control I have, the more emotions I can allow myself to feel," Raven said. Something else was also occurring, allowing her more freedom, but she hadn't yet figured out what that was, so she didn't mention it.
"You know," Starfire said with a mischievous grin, "he examined us so closely that just an inch closer and he'd have been learning Tamaranean!"
A picture on the wall cracked as Raven burst out laughing.
Typing by: Lostbetweenhereandthere (for the curious I have so many Lost-something usernames they get scrambled sometimes and yes Lost Worlds was me).
* Don't even try to learn about the Warp then.
** TN: "Unstoppable" Force of Evil meet Chaotic Locus of Fun and Good Things, clerics to Aphrodite and Eros, favored of Janus and known to many.. Xander, meet Trigon, the SOB you're pissed at right now. Educate him.
TN: Shocking news! There is no AN!